Most people know that it is illegal to drink and operate a motor vehicle. However, some think that your blood alcohol content has to be at .08 or higher to face arrest, and that is not necessarily true.
The consequences of driving under the influence conviction are expensive, inconvenient and often life-changing. It is important to understand what the laws are regarding a DUI.
Considerations for a DUI
According to FindLaw, an individual can face a DUI if the BAC is .08 or over, but an officer can also issue a DUI if any amount of alcohol or other substance is affecting a person’s ability to drive. Other substances include prescription drugs, illegal drugs, over-the-counter medications and inhalants. This means that people may face a DUI charge even if they only consumed one drink, or if they had no alcohol in the system but took medication that affects driving abilities.
If a person is not of legal drinking age, the BAC limit is .02.
Penalties for a DUI
The Commonwealth of Kentucky outlines the penalties for a DUI conviction. For each offense within the last 10 years, the penalties include:
- 1st offense: six-month license suspension, 90 days alcohol abuse program, fine of between $200 and $500 and potential jail time of between 48 hours and 30 days
- 2nd offense: 18-month license suspension, one-year alcohol abuse program, fine of between $350 and $500 and potential jail time of between seven days and six months
- 3rd offense: 36-month license suspension, one-year alcohol abuse program, fine of between $500 and $1,000, imprisonment of between 30 days and 12 months and community labor
- 4th offense: 60-month license suspension, one-year alcohol abuse program, fine of between $1,000 and $10,000 and imprisonment of between one and five years
Even if a conviction does not occur, if a person suspected of driving under the influence refused BAC testing, a license suspension occurs.