Latest Article

Kentucky DUI Law Information

Drivers arrested for DUI in Kentucky face high fines and penalties.

Kentucky DUI Law Information

Drivers arrested in the State of Kentucky for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) will face severe DUI penalties including potential jail time, a driver’s license suspension, potential mandatory ignition interlock installation, and fines.

Kentucky DUI defined

Under Kentucky DUI laws, it is illegal to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in this state if the driver 1) has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more as measured by a scientifically reliable test or tests of a sample of the person's breath or blood taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle; (3) While under the influence of alcohol; (4) While under the influence of any other substance or combination of substances which impairs one's driving ability; (5) While the presence of certain controlled substances (Kansas Revised Statutes).

Kentucky Look Back or wash-out period: 5 years

If a driver’s second or third driving infraction occurs during the look back period the DUI penalties can be substantially increased. The date begins on the date of the first DUI arrest.

Criminal DUI Penalties in Kentucky

First DUI offense:

  • Jail time from 48 hours up to 30 days (drivers who have any of the six aggravating circumstances listed below must serve a minimum of 4 days in jail).
  • Fines of $200 up to $500 plus additional fees and other costs
  • License suspension of 30 to 120 days with alcohol treatment prior to the reinstatement of the license
  • Community service may be given in lieu of the fine or jail, but community service must be for at least 48 hours but no more than 30 days
  • Hardship license may be granted to qualifying drivers if the suspension is for more than 30 days

Second DUI offense
Within 5 years

  • Jail time from seven days to 6 months. A fine and jail time are imposed for all second offenses within 5 years, with at least 48 hours of the jail sentence served consecutively. Drivers who are charged with any aggravating factors must also serve at least 14 days in jail.
  • Fines of $350 up to $500 (plus fees and other costs)
  • License suspension from 12 to 18 months, although courts may grant a hardship license after 12 months with the installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and treatment required
  • Community service up to 6 months

Third DUI offense
Within 5 years

  • Jail time from 30 days up to 12 months, with at least 48 hours of the jail sentence served consecutively. Drivers who are charged with any aggravating factors must also serve at least 60 days in jail
  • Fines of $500 up to $1,000 (plus fees and other costs)
  • License suspension from 24 to 36 months, although under some conditions courts may grant a hardship license after 12 months with the installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Drug and alcohol assessment and treatment required
  • Community service of 10 days up to 12 months 

Aggravated DUI Penalties

Drivers who are arrested with any of these six aggravating factors will have their mandatory minimum jail sentence doubled. The penalties cannot be conditionally discharged or probated.

  1. Operating the car 30 miles or more above the speed limit
  2. Operating a car in the wrong direction on a limited access highway
  3. Operating the car and causing death or physical injury
  4. Having a BAC at or above 0.15% within 2 hours from the cessation of operating the vehicle
  5. Refusing to submit to the DUI test and the officer had reasonable grounds to suspect the person was violating the DUI laws.
  6. Operating a vehicle with a passenger under of the age of 12 in the car

Administrative Penalties in Kentucky

Drivers in Kentucky have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if they have been arrested for DUI. Failure to consent to the required testing may result in administrative penalties, which are administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Penalties for refusing to take the chemical test after a DUI arrest:

  • 1st refusal 30 to 120 days
  • 2nd refusal 12 to 18 months
  • 3rd refusal 24 to 36 months
  • 4th refusal 60 month

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will impose the administrative license suspension after a chemical test refusal regardless of whether the driver is ultimately convicted of DUI.

To challenge an administrative suspension, drivers must request an administrative hearing within a specified number of days from the date of their DUI arrest by contacting the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

(Read more: - state laws - Kentucky )



Related Pages