Kentucky residents often enjoy an alcoholic beverage with dinner at a restaurant, relaxing for happy hour or while watching a ball game. If you know you must drive later, you might keep consumption low. You may drink water or other non-alcoholic beverages to help ensure you can drive safely. However, did you know that you could face DUI charges even if a test shows you below the legal limit?
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety, if you drive while under the influence of alcohol or any substances, you face jail time and fines if convicted of DUI. Depending on the situation, if aggravating circumstances exist, the penalties may increase.
It is about more than the legal limit
It is illegal to drive in Kentucky if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. This is the legal limit. However, you may face charges even if your BAC is lower than that. The 0.08% is the limit for adults over the age of 21. The legal limit for individuals under 20 and younger is much lower. Officers can arrest minors with a BAC of 0.02%.
If you have a commercial driver’s license and officers stop you while driving a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is 0.04%. Commercial drivers with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can face the suspension of their CDL. If convicted of DUI, the suspension may last for a year.
It may come down to impairment indicators
If your BAC was lower than 0.08% but higher than 0.04%, you might face DUI charges if officers believe you were unfit to drive. Indicators include slurring words, having red, watery eyes and inability to pass the standard field sobriety tests.
Understanding your options is essential for addressing the situation. Facing DUI charges can be frightening, but several defenses can help you get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely.