Kentucky's Aggravated DUI Laws and Penalties

The definition and penalties of an aggravated DUI in Kentucky.

Kentucky's DUI laws prohibit a person from operating or being in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more, with any amount of listed controlled substance (including cocaine and methamphetamine) in the body, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Generally, the penalties for a DUI conviction depend on how many prior convictions the offender has. However, certain aggravating factors can further increase penalties. This article explains Kentucky's aggravated DUI laws and the penalties for aggravated DUI convictions.

Kentucky's Aggravated DUI Laws

In Kentucky, a DUI is considered an aggravated offense if it involves any of the following circumstances:

A DUI that involves any of these factors carries the aggravated penalties discussed below.

Kentucky Aggravated DUI Penalties

Similar to a standard DUI, for an aggravated DUI conviction, the judge will generally determine the driver's penalties based on the circumstances of the case, including the number of prior offenses the driver has that occurred within the last ten years. Jail time and fines are mandatory, but it's up to the judge as to whether to order community service.

Jail Time, Fines, and Community Services for Kentucky Aggravated DUI Convictions

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


4 to 30 days

14 days to 6 months

60 days to 12 months


$200 to $500

$350 to $500

$500 to $1,000

Community Service

48 hours to 30 days

10 days to 6 months

30 days to 12 months

Kentucky's Substance Abuse Treatment Requirements for Aggravated DUI Offenders

All offenders must complete a substance abuse program. A first-offense DUI requires at least 90 days of treatment and a second DUI requires one year of treatment. Subsequent offenses will require at least a year of residential or inpatient substance abuse treatment.

Driver's License Penalties for Aggravated DUIs in Kentucky

All DUI convictions are reported to the Transportation Cabinet, which will issue a notice of suspension to the offender.

License Suspension for an Aggravated DUI Conviction in Kentucky

For a DUI conviction, the state will suspend the driver's license for six months for a first offense, 18 months for a second offense, and 36 months for a third offense.

Obtaining a Restricted license in Kentucky Following a DUI Suspension

Under the Kentucky Ignition Interlock Program (KIIP), suspended drivers can apply for restricted driving privileges during the suspension period. The restricted license permits the holder to operate only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID).

Drivers who hold the restricted license without any IID violations become eligible for early license reinstatement. The KIIP is mandatory for repeat DUIs or DUIs involving an injury accident and can be court-ordered for drivers who refuse testing.

Kentucky's Pre-Trial Suspension Rule for Certain DUI Offenders

Offenders who refused testing, caused an injury accident, or have prior DUI offenses can be suspended by the judge at the initial arraignment hearing. The driver will remain suspended until the DUI charges are resolved. Any suspension time served will count towards the DUI conviction suspension penalties.

License Plate Revocation for Kentucky Aggravated DUIs

For second and subsequent offenses, the judge will order the surrender of the offender's license plate. This surrender can be avoided with the installation of an IID and in some other limited circumstances.

Talk to a Kentucky DUI Attorney

If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Kentucky, you should get in contact with an attorney. The penalties for a DUI conviction are severe, particularly when it's an aggravated offense. An experienced DUI attorney can explain the law and help you decide on the best course of action.

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