The penalties for a first offense DUI in Kentucky, within a given ten (10) year period, are as follows:
Expect to pay a fine of $200 to $500 plus DUI service fees, treatment program fees, county fees, state fees, library fees, and court costs. Based on the county of the DUI conviction, expect the total fine and fees to typically range between $718.00 to $1,058.00.
While serving time in jail may not be required on a DUI first offense, based on the facts, the court may sentence the offender to 48 hours to 30 days in the county jail. Note that in some counties community labor of 48 hours to 30 days may be substituted for the fine or time in jail. If an aggravating circumstance is present at commission of offense, there is a mandatory minimum of four (4) days imprisonment.
Aggravating circumstances which the Court will consider to impose jail time include any one (1) or more of the following:
- Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
- Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
- Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury;
- Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator's blood or breath is 0.15 or more as measured by a test or tests of a sample of the operator's blood or breath taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation of the motor vehicle;
- Refusing to submit to any test or tests of one's blood, breath, or urine requested by an officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (1) of this section; and
- Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old.
Note that if convicted of an aggravated offense, the statue requires the installation of a mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of six months.
The court will also suspend the defendant's privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Kentucky for 30 to 120 days (or, if Defendant is under 18, until Defendant reaches age 18, whichever is longer). For Kentucky licensed drivers, the court will require the defendant to surrender their driver's license at the time of the conviction and will thereafter forward the license to the Kentucky Department of Transportation. For out of state drivers, Kentucky will suspend their privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Note that after conviction, the court clerk will notify the Kentucky Department of Transportation of the license suspension. The Kentucky Department of Transportation typically electronically notifies the offender's driver's license home state of the license suspension.
A person whose license had been suspended because of a DUI conviction may apply for hardship license after minimum suspension period expires, but no less than after 30 days.
Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment Program
The court will require that the defendant attend an Alcohol and Drug Education ADE) program which meets Kentucky state guidelines. The offender must sign up with an approved ADE course within 10 days.