What are the penalties for DWI/DUI in Kentucky?

With the holiday season right around the corner, you may be attending parties and gatherings with your loved ones. Holiday parties typically include alcohol, which increases your risk of receiving a DWI/DUI.

In addition to fines and jail time, the state of Kentucky also levies other penalties. According to drive.ky.gov, you will be subject to a license suspension and mandatory attendance of a substance abuse treatment program. You will also have the option to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to shorten the suspension period.

License Suspension

 

Recent updates to the law have changed how license suspensions are decided. All drivers are now subject to the same suspension period based on prior offenses. First offenses during a ten-year period receive a six-month license suspension. A second offense within the same time period results in an 18-month suspension, while a third offense in ten years leads to a 36-month suspension. By the fourth offense, your license will be suspended for 60 months.

Alcohol/Substance Abuse Treatment

 

The duration of the substance abuse program you attend is also based on prior offenses during a ten-year period. First time offenders must attend treatment for 90 days. For second, third, fourth, and subsequent offenses, treatment must be attended for a full year. Additionally, you may only attend a program if it has been authorized by the state.

Ignition Interlock Device Installation

 

The Kentucky Ignition Interlock Program allows drivers to reduce the suspension period if they install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. These devices take a reading of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before you are allowed to start the vehicle.

In order to qualify to have your suspension period reduced, you must not have had a violation for a period of 90 or 120 days. Violations include failing a breath test by receiving a BAC of .02% or higher, failure to adhere to the device’s maintenance schedule (which requires a visit to the ignition interlock provider), failure to pay mandatory fees, tampering with the device, and attempting to obscure the device’s camera, which is used to verify identity.