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Kansas DUI Laws

Kansas has three primary driving under the influence laws as well as a separate statute for driving under the influence and causing a death.   These include the common driving under the influence, driving under the influence for minor offenders, driving under the influence with a commercial license.  In addition, there is a felony charge for involuntary manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol.

The first is the common driving under the influence laws for offenders with a blood alcohol content above .08. The common driving under the influence law governs first through fourth and subsequent convictions as well as the penalties that go with each numerated offense.  In order to be charged with driving under the influence the person must be operating, or attempting to operate a vehicle with the alcohol concentration of .08 or more or under the influence of drugs or alcohol to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving.   First convictions are considered a Class B, nonperson misdemeanor; second convictions are a Class A, nonperson misdemeanor; third convictions are a Class A, nonperson misdemeanor unless they have a prior conviction within the past ten years in which case it will be a nonperson felony (Senate Bill 6: recent amendment); and fourth or subsequent convictions are a non-person felony. The second type is driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Here, the alcohol concentration must not be above .04.  First convictions are a Class B, nonperson misdemeanor; second convictions are a Class A, nonperson misdemeanor; and upon a third conviction the person shall be guilty of a nonperson felony.   Under the first two types of driving under the influences charges, the offender will be required to complete an alcohol and drug abuse treatment program.

The third type is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol by a person under the age of 21.  A motorist will be guilty of this offense if they are operating, or attempting to operate a vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol content of .02 or greater which will typically result in a suspension of driving privileges for 30 days followed by license for an additional 330 days for a first offender.  Subsequent minor offenders will be subject to license suspension for one year.  Furthermore, if a minor is tested and is found to have a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater their driving privileges will be suspended for one year.  If a minor is guilty of this offense for a fifth or subsequent time, the minors driving privileges will be permanently revoked.

The final type is a criminal charge for involuntary manslaughter if the offender causes a death while operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Prior to being convicted for driving under the influence that resulted in a death, the victims’ family will be allowed an opportunity to present a victim impact statement before the court.   Involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a security level 4, person felony. In Kansas, there are ten levels of security, one being the worst.  The security level of the crime and your past criminal history will be used to determine the length of sentence. If found guilty of this crime, expungement will never be an option.

Additionally, in Kansas, refusing to take a test to determine blood alcohol content is a traffic infraction which will result in immediate license suspension.  Suspension lengths get progressively longer based on amount of refusals. Upon first refusal  suspension will be for one year;  second refusal will be two years, third refusal will be for three years, forth refusal will result in a ten year suspension, and upon a fifth refusal, the persons license will be permanently revoked.

Also, for first offenders with a blood alcohol content above .15 their driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of one year, instead of 30 days, and their vehicle will be equipped with an ignition interlock device.  The suspension period will increase with multiple offenses.


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