If you are charged with your first DUI in Kentucky and you have a driver's license from a state other than Kentucky, you will have a different experience than a Kentucky driver.
Your driving privileges in the state of Kentucky will be suspended for the same time periods as a Kentucky driver, but the judge will not take your driver's license if you are convicted. Kentucky judges have no jurisdiction over driver's licenses from other states.
However, that does not mean you will not be suspended in your home state. In fact, Kentucky's Department of Transportation will notify your home state that you have been convicted of a DUI. This generally results in you receiving written notification from your Department of
Transportation that you are subject to your home state's DUI suspension laws. Most states have stiffer penalties than Kentucky, meaning you will be suspended in your home state longer than 30-120 days like a Kentucky driver.
For example, if a Tennessee resident is convicted of a DUI first in Kentucky and is sentenced to a 90-day license suspension by a Kentucky court, that suspension only applies in Kentucky. Tennessee will also impose a license suspension for up to one year!
Generally, the alcohol and drug education requirements imposed on Kentucky drivers do not apply to out of state drivers either. Your home state will impose its own requirements for you to complete before you can get your license back. These vary from state to state.
While all of the Kentucky penalties and laws may not apply to an out of state driver, it is important to know that any DUI conviction from another state in the last 5 years can be used against you in Kentucky. The penalties for every subsequent DUI get exponentially more severe.
For these reasons alone, out-of-state defendants may have more at stake in defending a Kentucky DUI and need an experienced DUI lawyer on their side.