Kansas Drunk Driving Laws, Penalties, and Consequences

Learn about the penalties for a first, second, and third DUI conviction in Kansas.

Kansas’ DUI laws prohibit all motorists from operating or attempting to operate a motor vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 g/ml or more, or
  • while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle.

The BAC threshold is reduced to .04 g/ml if the licensee is driving a commercial vehicle and is reduced to .02 g/ml for drivers under 21 years old.

Getting a DUI Without Actually Driving

In Kansas, a motorist can get a DUI even without actually driving: The statute defines DUI as “operating or attempting to operate” a vehicle while under the influence or with a prohibited BAC. Kansas courts have said this includes any “overt act to engage” and does not require movement of the vehicle. So while driving is sufficient for a conviction, it isn’t required.

Kansas Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Per Se DUIs

A drunk driving offense based on BAC—as opposed to the driver’s level of impairment—is known as a “per se” DUI. The amount of alcohol a person must drink to reach the legal limit depends on a number of factors such as gender, body size, and number and strength of drinks.

Our BAC calculator and BAC table can give you an estimate of where your BAC might be at after a certain number of drinks. However, these are just approximations that don’t take into consideration all the factors that can affect BAC. If you’ve been drinking, it’s always best not to drive.

Kansas DUI Penalties

Kansas DUI penalties vary based on the circumstances of the case. But the range of allowable penalties depends, in large part, on how many prior convictions the offender has. Here are what the potential sentences generally look like for a first, second, and third DUI.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

48 hours to six months

5 days to 12 months

90 days to 1 year

Fines

Up to $1,000

Up to $1,750

Up to $2,500

License Suspension

30 days (1 year with BAC of .15 g/ml or more)

1 year

1 year

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

180 days (1 year with BAC of .15 g/ml or more)

1 year (2 years with BAC of .15 g/ml or more)

2 years (3 years with BAC of .15 g/ml or more)

Implied Consent and Refusing a Blood or Breath Test in Kansas

Kansas’ “implied consent” laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a blood or breath test. Motorists who refuse testing face a one-year suspension with the following restriction periods:

1st Offense

2nd offense

3rd Offense

IID Required

2 years

3 years

4 years

For purposes of determining what is a second or third refusal, all prior DUI convictions, refusals, and failed BAC test (.08 g/ml or greater) within the person’s life are counted.

Plea Bargaining in Kansas DUI Cases

If you get charged with a DUI in Kansas, you might be hoping to get the charge dismissed altogether. However, unless the court throws out evidence that’s critical to prove the charge, it’s unlikely a prosecutor will agree to a complete dismissal. Kansas statute prohibits reducing a DUI charge to a lesser offense, but a diversion agreement is sometimes possible.

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