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DUI & DWI in Kentucky

It may shock you to know that even if you register a BAC .08 on a breath, blood, or urine test in Kentucky, you may not be guilty of drunk driving. However, any time you’re arrested for DUI, you need a strong defense; it’s always in your best interest to consult with a Kentucky DUI attorney if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence.

  • Kentucky DUI Laws
  • Kentucky DUI Punishments
  • Potential DUI Defenses
  • Kentucky’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws
  • How to Find a Kentucky DUI Attorney

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Revised Statutes contain Kentucky’s drunk driving laws.

These are the Kentucky driving under the influence BAC (blood alcohol content) levels:

  • If you are age 21 or older, a non-commercial driver, and have a BAC of .08 or higher, you are drunk driving.
  • If you are a commercial driver and have a BAC is .04 or higher, you are drunk driving. If you’re a school bus driver, you are considered to be a commercial driver in Kentucky.
  • If you are a driver under the age of 21 and you have a BAC of .02 or higher, you are drunk driving.

What is Kentucky’s Punishment for DUI Convictions?

We’ll list the standard punishments for drunk driving; however, if you are found to be driving drunk under aggravated circumstances, penalties are severely enhanced.

Examples of aggravating circumstances include: excessive speeding, having a child under the age of 12 in your car, driving the wrong way on a highway, causing serious injury or death, and having BAC of .18 or above.

Standard Punishments

  • 1st Offense – jail time of 48 hours to 30 days-fine of $200 to $500 – driver’s license suspension for 30 to 120 days -loss of commercial driver’s license.
  • 2nd Offense within5 years – jail time of 7days to 6 months-fines of $350 to $500-driver’s license suspended for 12 to 18 months – loss of commercial driver’s license – ignition interlock.
  • 3rd Offense within 5 years – jail time of 30 days to1 year- fines of $500to $1,000-driver’s license revoked for 2to 3 years-loss of commercial driver’s license – ignition interlock.

Kentucky Drunk Driving Defenses

Fortunately, just because you’ve been arrested doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted of drunk driving.

Potential defenses include:

  • Improper roadblock procedure.
  • Lack of probably cause for the original traffic stop.
  • Breathalyzer errors.
  • BAC blood test errors.
  • BAC wasn’t illegal when actually driving.

In addition, these defenses are used as mitigating factors – to minimize the criminal sentence if convicted.

  • Clean driving record; no prior DUI convictions.
  • No injuries, property damage, or child passengers.
  • BAC only slightly higher than the legal limit.

Kentucky’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws

Kentucky’s Dram Shop Act
A Kentucky licensed drinking establishments can be held liable (secondarily, after the intoxicated person) for injuries caused by serving an intoxicated or underage person.

Kentucky’s Providing Alcohol to Underage or Intoxicated Persons Law
A Kentucky licensed drinking establishment cannot serve alcohol to an underage person, a habitual drinker, or a visibly intoxicated person. Penalties are 90 days in jail, a fine of $250. The penalty is increased for subsequent violation.

How to Find a Kentucky DUI Attorney

If you’re arrested for DUI in Kentucky, then you need a defense lawyer – To find and select a Kentucky DUI defense attorney, search our website,, or ask friends or the bar association for a referral.

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