The state of Kentucky imposes stiff penalties for drivers convicted of DUI, even if they are first offenders.
A DUI charge covers more than just alcohol consumption that exceeds the legal limit, and the penalties increase significantly for repeat offenders.
Looking at other substances
Law enforcement can stop a driver who appears to be “under the influence,” but this does not necessarily refer to alcohol consumption. Other substances could also result in a charge of DUI. These include drugs, both legal and illegal; over-the-counter medications and inhalants such as gasoline, spray paint or glue.
A driver charged with DUI for the first time is facing a fine of $200 to $500 and participation in an alcohol or substance abuse program for 90 days. The driver will also lose his or her driving privileges for 30 to 120 days. With a second offense within 10 years, the fine is between $350 and $500 along with license suspension of 12 to 18 months. The driver must also enter alcohol or substance abuse treatment for 1 year.
Understanding aggravating circumstances
Aggravating circumstances that accompany a charge of DUI can include:
- driving more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit
- driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or more
- driving in the wrong direction
- causing a vehicle crash that results in serious injury or death
- driving with a passenger less than 12 years of age
- refusing to submit to testing requested by law enforcement
Building a defense strategy
The best outcome for anyone charged with DUI begins with building a defense strategy that challenges the arrest and the case the prosecution presents. This is especially true if a driver is facing a repeat offense and a significant escalation in penalties.