Disobeying Kentucky drunk driving laws will bring you harsh penalties that will be added to your driving record. The severity of DUI consequences may vary depending on the driver’s age and the number of prior offenses. Drivers who are charged with a DUI may face penalties such as driver’s license suspension, high driving fines, imprisonment and possible community service.

In order to minimize penalties, drivers are encouraged to hire a DUI defense attorney, especially if they are repeat offenders. Find out more about DUI laws and what you can do to minimize your charges by reading the sections below.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Kentucky

A Kentucky traffic ticket will be issued to drivers who are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI violations may be considered a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the situation.

The penalties incurred when a driver receives a DUI citation in Kentucky, will also differ depending on the number of previous traffic offenses that driver has committed.

Kentucky DUI Violations and Penalties

The consequences for driving under the influence in Kentucky may differ based on the motorists’ age, prior offenses and on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of arrest. The severity of the DUI penalties may also vary depending on whether they are administered by the DMV or by the local court.

First DUI Offense

A first DUI offense in Kentucky will bring you penalties such as:

In addition, you will be required to enroll in an Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program and stay enrolled for 90 days.

Second DUI Offense

Drivers who commit a second DUI within 10 years of their first violation will receive harsher penalties. These more severe consequences include a driver’s license suspension of 12 to 18 months, traffic fines that range from $350 to $500, jail time for a minimum of seven days or up to six months and community service from 10 days to six months.

Additionally, second offenses will require drivers to attend Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment for a period of one year.

Third DUI Offense

Committing a third DUI within 10 years will bring you penalties such as a license revocation for a period of 24 to 36 months, imprisonment for 30 days to 12 months, driving fines from $500 to $1,000 and mandatory community service for 10 days to 12 months.

Moreover, drivers who are charged with a DUI for a third time will be required to attend DUI classes for one year through the Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment Program.

Fourth DUI Offense

The fourth DUI offense within 10 years is considered a Class D Felony and requires drivers to spend a minimum of 120 days in prison without probation, and one year attending the Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment Program. The penalties for a fourth offense will suspend your driving privileges for 60 months.

Kentucky DUI Attorneys

A drunk driving attorney in Kentucky is a legal representative who specializes in DUI laws. Drivers may hire a DUI lawyer to represent them in court, regardless of whether they are faced with a first or a subsequent offense.

Prior to hiring a DUI defense attorney, drivers are encouraged to conduct background checks on potential representatives. That way, drivers will choose the best DUI lawyer to help them minimize their penalties.

Open Container Laws in Kentucky

According to Kentucky DUI laws, drivers are prohibited from carrying an open alcoholic beverage in the passenger area while driving a motor vehicle. This law is better known as the open container law. Drivers will be charged with a DUI for breaking this law and may receive certain penalties, such as a brief license suspension or citation fees.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Kentucky

In order to reinstate a suspended driver’s license in Kentucky, drivers need to meet several reinstatement requirements that may vary based on the severity of the offense. One of those reinstatement requirements is to enroll in traffic school in order to relearn Kentucky traffic laws.

The completion of DUI classes may or may not be required by the state DMV or by the court, but it is usually required if you have committed more than one offense.

Note: Although the license reinstatement process in some states requires drivers to provide proof of car insurance, also known as SR-22 insurance, Kentucky does not require a driver to file an SR-22 as proof of proper insurance.

Kentucky Alcohol Awareness Classes

Drivers who are charged with a DUI in KY will be required to enroll in a DUI-related traffic school course, better known as Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Kentucky. This DUI course is mandatory for drivers who have committed multiple drunk driving offenses and who want to reinstate their driving privileges.

Motorists who attend DUI classes will learn everything about the negative effects of both alcohol and drugs on safe driving habits. In addition, a DUI course in Kentucky may provide you with more information about state traffic laws and how to obey them.

Kentucky Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

DUI laws in Kentucky exist to limit the amount of alcohol a driver consumes before driving a motor vehicle. For that reason, harsh DUI charges will be given to drivers whose BAC levels are above the legal limit. The BAC limit is set to 0.08 percent for adult motorists, or 0.02 percent for drivers who are younger than 21 years of age.

According to the Implied Consent Law, when a driver is pulled over, he or she is required to consent to a BAC test when requested by a police officer. Motorists will face severe penalties for failing or refusing to submit to a BAC test.

Kentucky Hardship License

Drivers have had their license suspended due to a DUI charge or conviction may obtain hardship licenses during their suspension period. A hardship license will be issued to motorists in situations where they need to operate a motor vehicle to get to specific locations, such as:

  • Work
  • School
  • An alcohol awareness course.
  • A driver improvement course.
  • A court-ordered program.
  • A medical institution.

However, keep in mind that not all DUI offenders will be able to obtain a hardship license. If you have committed multiple offenses, you will need to consult with the Kentucky DMV to check if you are still eligible for this types of credential.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.