In Kentucky, you may be charged with a DUI if you have a blood alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 percent. Since Kentucky is a per se state, conviction does not require proof that you were impaired while driving. If your driving was impaired by prescription or illegal drugs, you can also be charged with a DUI, even if your BAC is lower than .08. The legal limit for commercial drivers is .04 percent and .02 percent for those under 21 years of age.
Along with standard Kentucky DUI penalties, certain circumstances may cause a DUI to be an aggravated offense and add to the jail time that an individual must serve. These factors include driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit, driving the wrong way, causing injury or death to another individual, refusing a chemical test, having a BAC at or greater than .18 percent and having a child under the age of 12 in a vehicle.
1st DUI Conviction Penalties
Those convicted of a DUI for the first time will face between two and 30 days in jail, and aggravating factors can add four days to their total sentence. Fines between $200 and $500 will be imposed along with all associated court costs. License suspensions can last between 30 and 120 days; although, after 30 days, people may be eligible for a hardship license. Community service may also be ordered, and in some cases the court will allow people to serve community service in lieu of jail time. Participation in a 90-day drug or alcohol treatment is also required.
2nd DUI Conviction Penalties
If someone is convicted of a second DUI within five years, they will be labeled a repeat offender. They will be required to spend between seven days and six months in jail, with an addition 14 days if it is an aggravated offense. An individual’s license will be suspended for between 12 and 18 months, and after 12 months, a hardship license may be granted. In addition to court costs, people are required to pay between $350 and $500 in fines along with completing a full year of a treatment program.
3rd DUI Conviction Penalties
Kentucky DUI Penalties for a third conviction include jail time between 30 days and 12 months with an additional 60 days if there were aggravating factors. The maximum fine for a conviction is $1,000 but not less than $500. An individual’s license will be suspended between 24 and 36 months with a possible option of a hardship license after 24 months. One year’s participation in a substance abuse program is also required.
4th DUI Conviction Penalties
After three DUI convictions, the charges for a DUI become felony charges. A minimum of 120 days must be served in jail without probation, with an additional 240 days for an aggravated offense, and the maximum sentence is five years. License suspensions will last for 60 months, and there is no option for a hardship license. Fines between $1,000 and $10,000 are imposed, and people must complete one year in a treatment program.