DUI laws in Kentucky are complicated and constantly changing. Even the slightest change in the law can make a huge difference on the outcome of your case. Make sure you get an attorney who stays current on Kentucky DUI laws so they can give your case the proper attention.
The penalties for DUI convictions are becoming more severe, not less, and can have many negative consequences for you. For a first time DUI offender in Kentucky, a common punishment will be fines and court costs of about $1,000.00. A person will also lose their driving privileges for 30 days to 120 days. Before the driving privileges can be restored, an individual must complete an alcohol and drug evaluation course.
The alcohol and drug education classes cost you even more money and consist of about 8 classes for a first time offender. These classes can be difficult to complete without a driver's license to get to and from them. Many people would benefit from seeking a hardship driver's license, which requires filing an application and another court appearance before a judge. Hardship licenses cannot even be applied for until 30 days after your suspension begins on a first offense. Many people fall into the "hardship license catch-22."
A first offense DUI also carries up to 30 days in jail. The amount of jail you can expect to serve depends highly on the facts surrounding your case and whether you have good legal representation.
Certain factors can require your jail time to be doubled. For example, if you have a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher or you have a passenger under the age of 12, your penalty will be more severe. There are other factors that are considered "aggravators" and will increase your jail time, such as if you were involved in an accident that injured someone, or if you were speeding in excess of 30 mph over the limit.
These penalties apply to individuals with a Kentucky driver's license. If you live out of state or otherwise do not have a Kentucky license, your outcome will be slightly different. Out of state DUI offenders will likely face different penalties.
DUI convictions are serious and remain on your record for years, potentially causing you problems for many years after the conviction. Every case has options and there is hope, even when your case seems open and closed. You need an experienced DUI lawyer working for you, and the sooner you get one on your side the better off you will be.