A second-offense DUI (driving under the influence) (also called "DWI") conviction in Kentucky generally results in a week in jail, a fine, and driver's license revocation. Lots of factors can affect DUI sentencing. But this article discusses the minimum and maximum penalties for a second DUI conviction in Kentucky.
A DUI is considered a second offense in Kentucky if the driver has only one prior DUI conviction within the last ten years. Older DUI convictions won't be counted. A second DUI will generally result in the following penalties.
Jail time. A second-offense DUI carries seven to 30 days in jail. The minimum jail time increases to 14 days if the second offense involved any aggravating factors. Qualifying aggravating factors include excessive speeding, refusing alcohol testing, causing an injury accident, having a passenger under 12 years old, and having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .15% or greater (find out approximately how many drinks it takes).
Community service. The judge may also order the offender to complete ten days to six months of community service.
Fines. A person who's convicted of a second DUI must pay a fine of $350 to $500.
Treatment. For a second DUI conviction, the offender must complete a one-year substance abuse program.
In addition to the other penalties, repeat DUI offenders face driver's license suspension. At the initial DUI arraignment, the judge will suspend and seize the driver's license. The court generally will also order the offender to apply for an ignition interlock license. This license permits the holder to operate a vehicle, but only if equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID). The driver's license will remain suspended or restricted until the criminal case is resolved.
Conviction. A driver convicted of a second-offense DUI will be suspended for 18 months. However, if the driver obtained an IID license and went at least 120 days without an IID violation, the suspension period will be reduced to 12 months. The driver will receive credit for any suspension time served prior to the conviction.
Acquittal. A driver who is acquitted of the DUI charges in court can generally get their license back. But a driver that refused testing can still be suspended under Kentucky's implied consent law.
Hardship license. Alternatively, judges are permitted to grant a driver a temporary restricted license. With a restricted license, the motorist can drive for work, school, or treatment purposes but only with an installed IID.
License plate surrender. The court will also impound the license plates of any vehicles owned by the suspended driver. However, this penalty doesn't apply to drivers who obtain an IID or hardship license.
Plea negotiations can sometimes be used to reduce or eliminate certain DUI penalties. Unless the driver refused testing, the prosecutor may even agree to reduce the charges. Visit with a qualified attorney to discuss these possibilities.