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Learning about DUI penalties may help you avoid them

The state of Kentucky is serious about keeping drunk drivers off the road; consequently, the penalties for DUI are harsh.

Whether there is already a conviction on your record, or you have never experienced an arrest for drunk driving, a review of the penalties in this state may help you steer clear of a DUI charge.

First-offense DUI

If you are a first offender, your fine will be between $200 and $500, and you could face jail time of between 48 hours and three days. You might qualify for participation in a community labor program in lieu of fines and jail time. However, if there are aggravating circumstances, you must serve a minimum of four days in jail. In addition, you can expect driver’s license suspension of 30 to 120 days.

Second-offense DUI

For a second DUI offense within a 10-year period, the fine will be between $350 and $500, you will face prison time of between seven days and six months and the court may order 10 days to two months of community labor. If aggravating circumstances were present, you must serve at least 14 days in jail.

You may have to enter an alcohol-abuse treatment program for one year, you will lose your license for 12 to 18 months and you must forfeit your license plates to the court for the duration of your license suspension. However, you may be able to drive again, because the judge may order installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Aggravating circumstances

If there were aggravating circumstances connected with your DUI arrest, the penalties increase. Examples include speeding, driving in the wrong direction, driving with a passenger in the vehicle who is less than 12 years of age or causing a crash in which the victims either die or are seriously injured.

Looking ahead

Driving is a privilege, and the more crowded highways become, the more important it is to drive safely and to remain alert at all times. This is not possible if you are driving under the influence of alcohol. If law enforcement should arrest you for DUI, it is important to act quickly in order to protect your rights and mitigate the charges against you.

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