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Understanding Kentucky’s “look-back” period

On Behalf of | Sep 24, 2019 | Firm News

A conviction for a single DUI is bad enough. However, plenty of drivers in Kentucky are habitual drunk drivers, and there have been people who have contended with second, third and fourth DUIs. For those drivers, the state recently made life a lot tougher.

In 2016, the state passed a new law that would extend the “look-back” period from five years to 10 years. That means anyone who gets additional DUIs within 10 years of the last one faces harsher consequences. Previously, if a person received another DUI eight years after the last one, harsher penalties would not apply. That is no longer the case; prior drunk drivers need to be aware of the new law and what it could entail.

Great penalties for more DUIs

In Kentucky, a first DUI is a misdemeanor as long as it did not result in injury or property damage. For a first offense, the person can expect to pay a fine between $200 and $500 and spend up to 30 days in jail. For a second offense, both the fine and the amount of jail time that comes with a conviction increase if it falls within 10 years. With the new law, a person has a longer amount of time in which the first DUI follows them. Subsequent DUIs can truly upend a person’s life.

Controversies surrounding the new law

Many people believe the new law punishes people who just want to reform their lives. It forces them to live with the errors of their ways for double the amount of time as the previous law, but others believe it serves as a good detriment so people avoid driving drunk in the future. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it is the law. Whether you are on your first or fourth DUI, you need to mount a solid defense to avoid conviction.