Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime as it puts the driver of the vehicle, any passengers, and all other motorists and pedestrians on the road at risk. In the state of Kentucky, drivers are considered to be under the influence and in violation of state law if their blood alcohol content exceeds .08%. If you are pulled over and charged with DUI, you could face a variety of different penalties based on your situation.
If you are pulled over for a DUI and submit to a field sobriety test, you could be arrested onsite if you fail. If you do not permit the field sobriety test and are suspected of DUI, you may be taken to the local police department to receive a more detailed test to check your blood-alcohol content levels. Those that are charged with DUI will typically be held at the jail overnight unless appropriate bail is posted. Their car is often towed from the scene of the arrest unless a sober driver is available to take it home.
If you are charged with a DUI in Kentucky, the fine you face will be based on whether this is your first DUI charge within the 10-year look-back period set by the state. For first-time offenders, there is typically a fee of around $500 plus an additional $375 service fee. For those that have had multiple arrests within the look-back period, fines can easily start to exceed $1,000.
Another penalty that you can face if charged with a DUI in this state is imprisonment. Those that are arrested for their first offense typically will not spend more than a night in jail, but the law allows for imprisonment for up to 30 days. If the DUI resulted in an accident that caused property damage or bodily injury, you could face additional penalties.
Those that have had multiple DUI arrests within the prior 10 years can face more serious penalties. This can include up to six months in prison for your second arrest, twelve months for your third, and even more substantial time for your fourth. While there is often some leniency provided on imprisonment, those that have been charged with a fourth DUI in a ten-year period face a minimum of 120 days in jail.
Losing your license to operate a vehicle is another serious part of being charged with a DUI. All drivers that are charged and convicted of a DUI will lose their driving privileges for at least 30 days, which can be extended up to 120 days based on the court’s discretion. For second-time offenders, the license revocation typically is set for 12 to 18 months. For third and fourth-time offenders, the revocation can last for multiple years.
For those that have had multiple DUIs, you will have a restricted license for a period of time after the revocation is over. This can limit your ability to drive for necessities including going to work or school and running basic errands. Drivers may also be required to use an ignition interlock for a period of time, which will ensure they are sober when getting behind the wheel.
While there are various criminal charges that you can face due to a DUI, you could face civil charges as well. If your DUI led to an accident that resulted in damages or bodily injury, you could be held liable for damages. This liability should be covered by your auto insurance liability plan. However, if you do not have coverage or a high enough limit, you may face future civil penalties and lawsuits.
Increased Insurance Costs
Those that are charged with a DUI should also expect to see an increase in their auto insurance rates. The arrest and charges will remain on your driving record for up to 10 years and will lead to a large increase in your premiums as insurance companies will consider you to be a higher risk going forward.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney
If you are charged with a DUI, it is important to hire an attorney as soon as you can. Those charged with a DUI face a variety of different penalties that can affect both your personal and professional life. When you have a DUI attorney by your side, they will provide a range of services to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible. This can include representing you during the court proceedings and helping to negotiate a fair plea bargain with the prosecutors. This can often result in a reduction in penalization along with an agreement to complete community service and take various educational classes.
When you are looking for a DUI lawyer in Lexington, it would be a good idea to speak with Dan Carman, attorney at law. The legal team here is experienced with DUI cases and will have the local relationships that can help you receive the best outcome possible. They can also address any questions you have and provide consultation to ensure your rights are properly represented.