Kentucky DUI / DWI Laws

Kentucky Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

Kentucky DUI law states that it is against the law for any person to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.

It is also against the law for any person 21 years of age or older to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while their ability to operate the vehicle is impaired due the consumption of alcohol or drugs. Even with a blood alcohol concentration of less than .08% you may still be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Kentucky.

First Offense DUI in Kentucky

  • First offense convictions in Kentucky carry mandatory minimum period of incarceration of two (2) days, which is doubled if aggravating factors exist, with potential of incarceration at thirty (30) days
  • Fines for first offense DUI convictions in Kentucky stand at $200 to $500, which does not cover additional expenses incurred during completion of sentence or during license reinstatement
  • Mandatory alcohol/substance abuse assessment and treatment program completion likely term of sentence in first offense conviction
  • Convictions influence subsequent charging and sentencing in future DUI cases for a period of five (5) years

Second Offense DUI in Kentucky

Upon a second offense with five years of a previous violation, the violator will face a minimum incarceration in the county jail not less than seven days but not more than six months. The violator may also be fined a minimum of $350 but not more than $500. Additionally, the violator may be sentenced to a minimum of 10 days but not more than six months of community labor.

However, if any aggravating factor was present at the time of offense, jail time is increased to a mandatory minimum incarceration of 14 days; this mandatory minimum cannot be suspended or probated. Some aggravating factors include operating a motor vehicle:

  • in excess of 30 mph;
  • in the wrong direction on a highway with limited access;
  • that causes an accident resulting in a serious injury or death; or
  • while transporting a minor passenger under 12 years of age.

Third Offense DUI in Kentucky

Penalties for third DUIs (within five years) include a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000. The driver may be incarcerated for a minimum of 30 days up to 12 months. If aggravating factors are present -- for example, speeding in excess of 30 mph of posted limit, wrong side of street driving, DUI involving an accident, BAC above .18, DUI with child (under 12 years old) in vehicle, or refusal to submit --

the driver will face a minimum of 60 days imprisonment. In addition the driver must submit to one year of substance abuse treatment. The Kentucky DMV will suspend the offender's license for a minimum of 24 to a maximum of 36 months. The courts will also require 10 to 12 days of community labor.

Drivers convicted of a third DUI will forfeit their license plates to the courts during the period in which the driver license is suspended. The court may order an ignition interlock device to be installed on the violator's vehicle after the driver serves a statutory suspension period. The ignition interlock device prevents a driver from operating that vehicle if the driver's BAC is .02 or greater.

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