Kentucky is serious when it comes to drunk driving. State law includes increasingly consequential penalties for drivers who rack up more than one DUI.
During this holiday season, it is important to understand the risks at hand if police stop you on suspicion of drunk driving and if they arrest you for DUI. This is especially relevant if you have already had one DUI arrest or conviction.
Kentucky law regarding DUI
Kentucky's state law has changed in recent years in terms of repeat DUI offenders. In 2016, legislators passed a law to make tougher sentencing for repeat DUI offenders. The Kentucky Supreme Court upheld that law in a ruling in late 2017. The law lets prosecutors have more time to bring repeat DUI offenders to court, expanding the timeframe from the five previous years to 10 years.
For a first DUI offense in Kentucky, you can face from 48 hours to 30 days in jail and fines from $200 to $500, as well as a possible license suspension. The penalties increase from there for second, third and additional DUI offenses. Even on a first offense, authorities could suspend your license for 30 to 120 days.
Options for defense in Kentucky DUI cases
If you have a DUI on your record already, you face harsher penalties should you end up with another DUI during this holiday season. Keep in mind that it is not always in your best interest to plead guilty or accept a prosecutor's deal. Although those options may seem expedient to help you "wrap up your case" and move on with your life, the truth is that a strategic defense can help you much more in the long term.
When it comes to DUI offenses, the risk is that the penalties will have such a strong impact on your future that you may not be able to get back on your feet easily. For example, if authorities suspend your license for a year or more, it can affect your ability to get to work and thus start a chain reaction of negative consequences that could even lead to unemployment.