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Kentucky - Penalties for third DUI arrest

It is illegal in the state of Kentucky to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher. If you are under the age of 21 you can be arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02% or higher.

Implied Consent Laws in Kentucky for a third DUI arrest

If you are arrested and you refuse to take the blood, breath or urine blood alcohol concentration test (BAC) after an officer lawfully arrests you for drunk driving you can be charged with violating Kentucky’s Implied Consent Laws. The BAC test must be done within two hours of driving and the officer has the legal right to determine what type of BAC test you must take. You have the legal right to consult with a DWI lawyer prior to taking the test, but there will be a limited amount of time to make contact with your lawyer. If you want to have another BAC test you will have to pay for it. The BAC test is not the same as the preliminary breath test, which you do have the legal right to refuse. Refusing the breath test may or may not be helpful to your case. In most instances the officer will have other types of evidence that they can use to establish probable cause for a drunk driving arrest even if you refuse the breathalyzer test.

What if you refuse the BAC test for a third DUI arrest?

If you refuse the BAC test the refusal of the test can be used against you in court. You will also automatically lose your license for 30 days. If this is your third DUI arrest and you have refused a BAC test within the last five years you could be facing a suspension for two to three years and you also will not be able to get a hardship license. A refusal can also result in an extended jail sentence if you are ultimately convicted of DUI.

Criminal penalties for third DUI conviction in Kentucky

Consider, however, that the implied consent penalties outlined above are civil in nature. They will be enforced against you, regardless if you are ultimately convicted of drunk driving. If you are convicted of DUI the courts will enforce criminal penalties against you.  For a third DUI arrest within five years you are facing the following:
  • Fines not less than five hundred dollars ($500) but no more than one thousand dollars
  • Prison sentence for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than twelve (12) months
  • Mandatory community service for not less than ten (10) days nor more than twelve (12) months.
  • If you are convicted with aggravating circumstances the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is sixty (60) days and this prison term cannot be suspended, probated, conditionally discharged, or subject to any other form of early release;

Hiring a Drunk Driving Lawyer

If you have been arrested for your third DUI the courts will consider you a repeat offender. It is imperative that you discuss your case with a DUI lawyer. Do not try to handle this on your own. Unfortunately, the courts are unlikely to be lenient due to health concerns you might face.