The offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly outlawed in Kansas. It can be met with a variety of punishments like civil fines and jail terms.
Avoiding a DUI in jail requires drivers to know what the legal blood alcohol content limits in Kansas are. They can also benefit by knowing what punishments they can incur if they are found guilty of DUI in Kansas.
DUI in Kansas
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Kansas is defined as operating a privately owned motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content or BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. This per se law pertains to drivers who are 21 years and older. It does not apply to drivers of commercial vehicles or underage drivers under the age of 21.
Commercial drivers in Kansas are only allowed to have a BAC of lower than 0.04 percent. If they are found guilty of DUI in Kansas, they can lose their commercial drivers’ license and be prohibited from driving for commercial employers like petroleum companies and school districts.
The DUI limits for underage drivers is 0.02 percent. The state’s zero-tolerance law applies to drivers under the age of 21.
In Kansas, it is possible to get a DUI even if the driver is not operating a vehicle. The definition of DUI in Kansas includes both operating or attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It involves the overt act to engage a vehicle and does not require the car actually moving. Driving is not required in Kansas for a DUI conviction.
DUI Penalties in Kansas
The penalties for DUI in Kansas range from civil fines to jail terms. Offenders can also lose their driving privileges and be compelled to use an ignition interlock device or IID.
A first conviction of DUI in Kansas can result in a jail sentence of 48 hours to six months. Offenders can also be fined up to $1000 and have their licenses suspended for up to 30 days. They also can be ordered to use an IID for up to 180 days after their licenses are reinstated.
A second DUI conviction results in five days to 12 months in jail. The fine can top out at $1750 and include a license suspension up to one year. The offender can also be ordered to use an IID for up to one year after his or her license is given back.
A third DUI conviction leads to 90 days to one year in jail. The offender can pay a fine up to $2500. His or her license can be suspended for up to one year and then be ordered to use an IID once the license is reinstated.
Aggravated DUIs in Kansas are punished with harsher penalties. An aggravated DUI involves driving with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher.
A first-time aggravated DUI in Kansas results in a one-year license suspension and use of an IID for one year. A second conviction leads to use of an IID for two years while a third conviction requires an IID in the offender’s vehicle for three years.
Underage DUIs in Kansas
Kansas has a zero tolerance law that prohibits underage drivers from operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 percent or higher. If they are found to have BACs higher than this amount, drivers under the age of 21 can face penalties that are similar to adult consequences for DUI in Kansas.
Drivers under the age of 21 who are found to have a BAC of 0.02 to 0.08 percent can have their licenses suspended for up to 30 days. If the DUI is a second or subsequent occurrence, the license can be suspended for up to a year.
Underage drivers with BACs of more than 0.08 percent can have their licenses suspended for up to 30 days. They also can apply for a restricted license for 30 days after their suspension period is complete.
Additional penalties for aggravated underage DUI in Kansas include a jail sentence of 40 hours to one year. The civil fine can range from $500 to $1000.
Implied Consent in Kansas
Like many states, Kansas has implied consent states that require all motorists in the state to provide breath, blood or urine samples if they are arrested for DUI. They can technically refuse to comply with the request. However, they do so at their own legal peril.
In Kansas, a first chemical test refusal under the implied consent law can lead to a one-year license suspension and a two-year IID sentence. A second refusal results in a license suspension for one year as well as an order to install and use an IID on the person’s vehicle for two years. A third refusal also results in loss of driving privileges for one year and an order for an IID for four years.
When it comes to considering all prior DUI convictions, Kansas counts all refusals and failed BAC tests with 0.08 percent or higher results. They are used to determine what constitutes a second, third or subsequent refusal in the state.
The DUI laws in Kansas strictly forbid driving any motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The blood alcohol content levels differ for adult and underage drivers.
They also differ for private and commercial motorists. Regardless, driving under the influence in Kansas is met with severe legal and monetary penalties that are designed to prevent drivers from engaging in this criminal infraction.