If you face accusations of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Kentucky, knowing the facts can stop you from making serious mistakes. Unfortunately, some people suffer through believing misinformation.
While the basic information below can clear up some misconceptions, each case is unique, and you may face additional complexities. Consulting a lawyer can help you get more insight into your specific situation.
1. I cannot be convicted if my BAC was less than .08
Some people misunderstand the meaning of the .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) standard, believing that a lower BAC means they cannot be convicted of DUI. In reality, this standard defines legal intoxication irrespective of any other matters. In other words, if your BAC tested as .08 or higher, you were legally intoxicated even if you showed no impairment and drove perfectly. However, even with a lower BAC, you can face DUI charges if your alcohol consumption did affect your driving. In addition, drivers under the age of 21 face a far lower limit of .02 BAC while CDL holders have a limit of .04 and may face penalties for any traces of alcohol or drugs whatsoever.
2. A first offense is not that serious
If you think of a first-time DUI as something to shrug off, Kentucky law does not. A first offense without aggravating factors may entail penalties that could include up to 30 days of jail time, fines, license suspension and/or mandatory substance abuse program completion. Any of these can seriously affect your employment and your finances. Additionally, a DUI conviction stays on your record, potentially affecting future employment, schooling and housing opportunities.
3. Refusing BAC testing means they have to drop the case
Under Kentucky law, driving on the state's roads means consenting to blood, breath and urine testing to determine BAC. Not only will refusing not derail the DUI case against you, but it can lead to additional charges of refusal to take tests. The penalty includes prolonged license suspension and may be imposed even if you ultimately beat the DUI charge itself.
You should not take DUI charges lightly. If you face allegations of DUI, your best option is to get qualified legal help as soon as possible.