Learn More About DWIs

Kentucky DUI & DWI Laws

Jun 30, 2016

In Kentucky, a person can be arrested for a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. A DUI, or driving under the influence, is a drunk driving conviction where the BAC is above the state legal alcohol limit, rendering the driver legally impaired.

Legal limit in Kentucky:

  • Standard, non-commercial drivers: 0.08% BAC
  • Commercial drivers: 0.04% BAC
  • Drivers under 21: 0.02% BAC

Penalties, Fines, & Suspension

Kentucky DUI & DWI Penalties, Fines, & Suspension
Penalty 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
Sentence N/A 5 days 60 days
Fine $600 to $2,100 $1,100 to $5,100 $2,100 to $10,000
Driver’s License Suspension 90 days 1 year 3 years

Chemical Test Refusal

Kentucky is an implied consent state meaning any person operating a motor vehicle is subject to a chemical test requiring a blood, breath or urine sample to test BAC levels. If someone chooses to deny this test, they can face serious punishments.
1st offense: Minimum 30 day license suspension, maximum punishment: jail time doubled
2nd offense: Minimum 1 year license suspension, maximum punishment: jail time doubled
3rd offense: Minimum 2 year license suspension, maximum punishment: jail time doubled

Ignition Interlock

In Kentucky, an ignition interlock device may be required on a case by case basis dependent on enhanced BAC levels, repeat offenders or aggravated DUI factors such as excess speeding, chemical test refusal, injury or death or children passengers. An ignition interlock or IID is a device connected to a car’s ignition that requires legal BAC levels to start the vehicle.  

Criminal Record

A DUI arrest will remain on your personal criminal record for 5 years before it can be removed. During this time period, this conviction can be used against you in regards to punishment in the case of a second DUI offense.

Under 21

Kentucky is classified as a “no exceptions” state in regards to underage drinking and driving. If someone under the age of 21 is convicted of a DUI they will face imprisonment for 2 to 30 days, a fine from $200 to $500 and a license suspension for 30 to 120 days. These penalties will increase with each offense.

DWI with a Child Passenger

There are multiple factors that can turn a DUI into an “aggravated DUI” including drinking and driving with a child under the age of 12 in the car. An aggravated DUI can increase the minimum imprisonment time as well as increase other fines and penalties.

More on KY DUI Laws:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet: DUI Laws in Kentucky


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Updated: July 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm