Kentucky Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in Kentucky.

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Local Defense Attorney.

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small

What are the penalties for a DUI in Kentucky?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

None

5 days

60 days

Fines and Penalties

$600 to $2,100

$1,100 to $5,100

$2,100 to $10,000

License Suspension

90 days

1 year

3 years

IID** Required

No

No

No   

Aggravated DUI Circumstances

  • Speed Limit – Driving 30 MPH over Limit
  • Driving the Wrong Way on Limited Access Highway
  • Causing an Accident that Results in Injury or Death
  • Alcohol Level is .18 or Above
  • DUI Test Refusal
  • Passengers Under the Age of 12

Lookback Period: 5 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Kentucky?

Under 21

.02%

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Kentucky?

Kentucky has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. To learn more, see Kentucky’s implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

Minimum 30 day license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Minimum 1 year license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Minimum 2 years license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Kentucky?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in Kentucky, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Kentucky

The State of Kentucky prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver that has a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or above. The .08 percentage limit is the standard measurement for all states across the country. Kentucky has a lower BAC limit for minors and the driver of commercial vehicles.  The State of Kentucky also has harsher laws for a DUI with aggravated circumstances such as transporting a child under the age of 12, driving 30 mph over the speed limit, driving the wrong direction, causing an accident while impaired, and other infractions.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Kentucky? Calculating the exact number of drinks it takes to be legally drunk is not an exact science. Each person has unique individual physical qualities that contribute to a BAC score.

There are formulas based on averages that can estimate a persons blood alcohol concentration, however these calculations are not correct for all drivers.

It is safe to say that for each drink you have, you bring yourself that much closer to what the State of Kentucky considers an "impaired driver".

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of Kentucky has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Kentucky, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.  The first time you receive a drunk driving conviction in Kentucky you will be fined from $200-$500. You will also spend a minimum 2 days to 30 days in jail or receive from 2 to 30 days of community service. Your drivers license will be suspended from 30 to 120 days. If you were involved with an aggravated DUI you will spend 4 days in jail.

An aggravated DUI means you commit one of the following acts while you are driving drunk; Speeding 30 MPH over the limit, Driving the wrong direction, Being involved in an accident and driving with a child under the age of 12 years old. Driving with a BAC of .18 and above or refusing to submit to a chemical test.  If you are convicted for a 3rd a DUI in Kentucky you will be fined from $500-$1,000. You will also be ordered to 1 year of alcohol or substance abuse treatment. You will spend anywhere from 7 days to 6 months in jail and from 10 days to 6 months of community service. Your drivers license will be suspended from 24 to 36 months.  If aggravated circumstances were involved you will receive 14 days in Jail.

The fourth time you are convicted of drunk driving in Kentucky you will be charged with a Class "D" Felony. You will be ordered to a 1 year alcohol or substance abuse treatment program and spend a minimum of 120 in jail without probation.

You may also be sentenced to 10 days to 1 year community service. Your drivers license will be suspended from 24 months to 36 months. You will also spend 60 days in Jail if aggravated circumstances were involved.

by: , Attorney

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find defense attorneys near you.
HOW IT WORKS
how it works 1
Briefly tell us about your case
how it works 2
Provide your contact information
how it works 1
Choose attorneys to contact you
LA-NOLO3:DRU.1.6.2.20140813.27175