DUI Laws in Kentucky

Laws and penalties for DUI in Kentucky.

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In Kentucky, you can get a DUI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Kentucky says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Kentucky and other details about Kentucky DUI law.

In Kentucky, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Kentucky, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

Minimum 30 day license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Minimum 1 year license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Minimum 1 year license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

In Kentucky, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Kentucky, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC within 2 hours of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%.

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Kentucky?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Kentucky, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

2 days jail (4 if aggravating circumstances are present, such as BAC above .18%)

7 days jail

30 days jail

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 5 years.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Kentucky?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in your state, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

If you are interested in contacting a lawyer, you can find a DUI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in Kentucky?

They are not necessarily required, but for a second or subsequent conviction, a court may order the use of an interlock device instead of confiscating the license plates of vehicles owned by the defendant (which is a standard penalty for second and subsequent offenses). If ordered to use an interlock device, a defendant must use it for the same period of time that their license plates would have been confiscated..

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in Kentucky?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Kentucky DUI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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