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What to expect from a first DUI offense in Kentucky

No one plans to drive over the legal limit, but sometimes it happens. Laws can vary from state to state, it is important to educate yourself on your state's drunk driving laws so you can make informed choices in the event of a DUI charge. In Kentucky, driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than 0.08 is enough to elicit a DUI (driving under the influence). For minors, the BAC limit is 0.02, and for commercial drivers it is 0.04. If you find yourself facing charges related to DUI, this is what you can expect for a first offense.

Minimum penalties

If convicted of a DUI, you can expect these minimum penalties. Additional factors can lead to harsher sentencing as well with any conviction, your license may be suspended for at least 30 days, you may face a 90-day Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program and you may be charged a $200 to $500 fine. Additional penalties for a first-time offense can include a minimum of 2 days in jail, possibly reaching as many as 30, and you may need to perform 24 hours to 30 days of community service. It is also important to remember that this offense will stay on your record for five years. Additional DUI's within that period will face progressively harsher penalties. The minimums listed here can and typically will be increased if there are aggravating circumstances.

Aggravating circumstances

These are conditions that mandate an increase in your sentencing. They include driving more than 30 mph above the posted limit, driving on the wrong side of a road or one-way street, causing an accident, having a BAC of 0.15 or more, having a minor under 12 years of age in the car or refusing to submit to testing. Aggravating circumstances can double any of the minimum penalties, particularly jail time, and they can lead to additional license revocation time and court fees.

Refusal to submit

An important point to note is that Kentucky is an implied consent state. That means that simply by driving in Kentucky, you are agreeing to submit to BAC tests if requested by a police officer. Kentucky uses breath, blood and urine tests to measure BAC, police officers have the power to determine which test is appropriate for a situation. If you are stopped and an officer requested that you take a test, you can refuse the test. However, you will be subject to penalties for your refusal. Whether you take a test or not, you have legal rights and options to defend yourself. If you receive a DUI charge, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to help you protect your rights and guide you through the process.

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