Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I have been charged with my fourth Kentucky DUI in four years. I won’t lie; I know I have an alcohol addiction. I have sought treatment, but I can’t seem to stop drinking. I have three young children. I don’t want to go to jail. What are my options?”
Overview of Kentucky DUI laws
If you have been arrested in Kentucky for operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and your blood alcohol concentration is at or above the legal limit of 0.08% or higher, you can be charged with a per se DUI offense.
Under this charge, the state does not have to prove that your inability to drive was unsafe or compromised in any way. They must simply prove, generally through a chemical test, that
you were under the influence or you were operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle with an unlawful alcohol concentration.
Determining if you are a repeat offender
With four Kentucky DUI arrests within 4 years there is no question that you will be categorized as a repeat offender. For other DUI offenders, however, repeat offender status is calculated based on what is called a lookback period.
As of April 9, 2016, the Kentucky DUI look-back period is 10 years. If you have multiple DUI arrests the state will determine whether the first, second, third and fourth offenses are within a ten-year lookback period. If they are, the state will determine the minimum punishment.
What penalties can you expect for a fourth Kentucky DUI conviction?
The DUI penalties and fines for a fourth Kentucky DUI are severe. Not only will you be charged with a Class D felony, you will also have to pay $1,000-$10,000 (plus statutory service fee and other miscellaneous costs), have your license suspended for 60 months with no chance of a hardship license, and be required to attend drug and alcohol treatment classes for one year.
Now, you also asked if you would have to spend time in jail. The answer is yes. In fact, not only is the potential for incarceration one to five years, the state will insist that you spend at least 120 days in jail.
What if there are aggravating factors for my Kentucky DUI?
Unfortunately, if the state determines there are aggravating factors for your DUI, the time in jail can be doubled from the minimum. Aggravating factors can include:
- Driving 30 miles over the speed limit
- Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway
- Causing an accident which results in death or serious injury
- Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is 0.15%
- Refusing to submit to any test of one’s blood, breath or urine
- Operating a motor vehicle transporting a passenger under the age of twelve 12 years old.
If any of the above aggravating factors are present for your fourth DUI offense your minimum jail time would be increased to 240 days.
If you are convicted of a fourth Kentucky DUI you will have to spend time in jail.
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