A third-offense DUI (driving under the influence) (also referred to as "DWI") conviction in Kentucky generally results in driver's license revocation, a fine, and a few weeks in jail. Lots of factors can come into play with sentencing, but the following are the minimum and maximum consequences of a third DUI conviction in Kentucky.
A DUI is considered a third offense in Kentucky if the driver has two prior DUI convictions within the past ten years. Convictions that occurred more than ten years ago aren't counted.
Aggravating factors such as speeding, causing an injury accident, refusing a breath or blood alcohol test in violation of the state's implied consent law, having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .15% or greater, or having a passenger under 12 years old can enhance the penalties. But ultimately, it's up to the judge to decide the penalties within the following ranges.
Jail time. A third-offense DUI carries a minimum of 30 days in jail, with a possible maximum of 12 months. And if the DUI included one of the previously listed aggravating factors, the driver must serve a minimum of 60 days in jail.
Community service. The judge may also order the offender to complete 30 days to 12 months of community service.
Fines. A person who's convicted of a third DUI must pay fines of $500 to $1,000.
Treatment. The judge will also order the offender to complete one year of substance abuse treatment, which must include residential or inpatient services.
In addition to the criminal penalties, the judge will suspend the driver's license for 24 to 36 months, followed by 30 months with an ignition interlock device (IID). The driver must complete all ordered substance abuse treatment prior to license reinstatement.
Hardship license. Judges are permitted to grant third-time offenders a temporary restricted license, allowing the driver to operate a vehicle for work, school, or treatment purposes. However, the offender must install an ignition interlock device to be eligible for a restricted license.
After 12 months with a hardship license, the judge can reduce the remaining revocation period.
License plate forfeiture. During the revocation period, the judge will order the surrender of the offender's license plate. This may be avoided by installing an IID or under other limited circumstances.
If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Kentucky, make sure you get in contact with a qualified lawyer. An experienced local DUI attorney can help you understand what you're up against and counsel you on how best to handle your situation—and may even help get the charges amended if the case didn't involve a BAC test refusal.