Kentucky's Drugged Driving Law
Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Kentucky.
Kentucky’s drugged driving law is located at Kentucky Code Section 1189A.010. It states it is a crime to be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any other substance or combination of substances which impairs one's driving ability; or while the presence of a controlled substance listed in subsection (12) of this section is detected in the blood, as measured by a scientifically reliable test, or tests, taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle …”
In other words, in Kentucky it’s a crime to drive while under the influence of a drug. No blood testing standard is established in Kentucky – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor.
What drugs are prohibited?
Kentucky’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of "any drug that impairs driving ability." It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance.
What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Kentucky?
A driver arrested for drugged driving in Kentucky will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Kentucky’s DUI laws.
Do Kentucky drivers have to submit to drug testing?
Yes, there is an implied consent rule for blood and urine testing. The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.