In Kentucky, a person convicted of a first misdemeanor driving under the influence – DUI charge can expect the following:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – this offense will be charged as a misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 48 hours to 30 days in jail and /or a fine of $200-$500
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with aggravating circumstances – this offense will be charged as a Misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 4 days to 30 days in jail and /or a fine of $200-$500
  • Aggravating circumstances include: speeding 30 mph above limit, driving the wrong way on a limited access highway, causing an accident with serious injury or death, testing over 0.15 by blood or breath, refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test, and having a child in the car under 12 years old.
  • License suspension for first offense in 10 years – not less than 30 days up to 120 days.

It is common for the police to charge both an under the influence charge and one of the other charges for testing over the limit of .08, testing over the aggravating limit of 0.15. For drivers under 21 years old the legal limit is 0.02 Blood Alcohol Content – BAC or above. This underage DUI carries a suspension from 30 days to 6 months. The fine is $100-500. Underage drivers are also required to attend mandatory alcohol or drug treatment.

Hardship License’s in Kentucky

Kentucky presumes that a person with a BAC under 0.05 is not under the influence. There is no hardship privilege for a person convicted of DUI or under a pretrial suspension for the first 30 days. After conviction, driving privileges in Kentucky cannot be reinstated until a person completes alcohol treatment. The minimum alcohol treatment required is 20 hours.

After 30 days the person can apply for a hardship license. A defendant must apply in writing to the court to petition driving privileges. To issue hardship privileges the court must find that the revocation would cause difficulty with the person’s ability to:

  • Continue employment.
  • Continue attending school.
  • Obtain necessary medical care.
  • Attend driver improvement or alcohol/substance abuse programs.
  • Attend court ordered counseling programs.

If we are able to suppress the evidence of your breath test you will still have to beat the under the influence charge at trial. This charge is based on the officer’s training, observation, and experience. Police will testify about your driving, physical appearance, smell of alcohol on your breath, admission of drinking, time of day or night, where you were coming from, performance on field sobriety tests.

Requirement for Hardship Privileges

Before hardship privileges are granted the person must show the following:

  • Show proof of auto insurance.
  • Provide a notarized statement from their employer verifying work schedule and need to drive for work.
  • Provide a notarized statement from school with their schedule.
  • Provide a notarized statement from a doctor verifying their need to drive for medical care.
  • Provide a notarized statement from an alcohol or substance abuse counselor verifying their need to drive for treatment.
  • Etc.

Call us at Suhre & Associates, LLC (859) 663-2900 to learn more about Kentucky DUI charges and penalties.

About Robert Healey, Attorney at Law

Rob’s legal career has focused on DUI defense where he has defended clients throughout Southwest Ohio and Northern KY, including the Cincinnati, and Dayton area. His education and legal training allows him to provide aggressive DUI defense for all his clients. He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2015, 2016, and 2017 a rare accolade given to less than 2.5% of lawyers. He also has merited the Client’s Choice Award from 2012-2017.