The consequences of a conviction for driving in Kentucky while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants can have an effect on your life for years after the case is over. The criminal record associated with a misdemeanor or felony drunk driving charge conviction can hurt your ability to get or keep a job, and it can result in increased auto insurance rates. It can also affect the penalties a court may impose for a subsequent drunk driving offense.
If you plead guilty to or are convicted after trial of drunk driving a first time, the penalties that a judge may impose at sentencing include a fine up to $500, up to 30 days in jail and possibly 30 days of community service. You may also lose your driving privileges for up to six months and be ordered to participate in an alcohol or substance abuse program. However, you are not free of the consequences of the conviction even after the fines are paid and you satisfy the other requirements of your sentence.
A second DUI charge within five years of your first conviction could result in fines up to $500, up to six-months in jail, a license suspension of a year to a year-and-a-half, up to six months of community service, and a year of alcohol or substance abuse treatment.
The law allows judges to take your prior DUI conviction into consideration and order you to surrender your license plates for the same length of time as the license suspension.
An additional consequence of a second conviction for driving while intoxicated is the court-mandated installation of an ignition interlock device. The device forces a driver to breathe into it in order to start the vehicle. The vehicle will not start if the device detects a blood alcohol content level of 0.02 percent or higher. Use of the device begins once the license suspension and plate surrender periods end.
The information contained in this blog post is meant to be an overview of Kentucky DUI laws. It is not offered as legal advice, which should only be given by an attorney who has thoroughly reviewed the facts specific to your particular case.