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Impaired driving in Kentucky can land you in jail

The holiday season is here, which means that adults are probably going to have invitations to office Christmas parties and other festive occasions. If you are planning on attending any of these, you need to properly prepare so that you don't have to face the decision about whether you are sober enough to drive or not. Typically, it is best to plan for a ride home than it is to face a drunk driving charge.

The laws in Kentucky about drunk driving are pretty cut and dry. Adults who are 21 years old or older can't have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more and still be able to legally drive. For drivers who are under 21 years old, the limit is .02 percent.

You can face an impaired driving charge even if you never drank a sip of alcohol. Some drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription, can lead to impairment. These drugs can also lead to criminal charges.

You have to realize that Kentucky laws don't leave any room for errors. On a first offense, you are facing a minimum of 48 hours in jail and a maximum of 30 days. You are also facing a fine of $200 to $500.

The penalties for subsequent offenses are even more serious. In these cases, the prior conviction or convictions must have occurred within 10 years of the current charge.

A second offense carries a minimum of seven days in jail and a maximum of six months. A third offense is 30 days minimum to 12 months in jail. A fourth offense is a felony charge that carries one to five years.

A person who has an aggravating charge attached to the drunk driving charge faces increased penalties. These aggravating circumstances include a BAC of .15 percent or more, driving with a child under 12 in the vehicle, being involved in a crash that caused death or injury, driving more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit or driving in the wrong direction on the road.

Source: FindLaw, "What Are the Kentucky DUI Laws?," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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Phone: 270-605-0441
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