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DUI Penalties in Kansas

Common and commercial DUI offenders will be required to complete an alcohol and drug safety action education or treatment program, or both regardless of how many offenses they have had.  Also, state law prohibits the prosecution as well as judges from entering or approving a plea bargain agreement to avoid the mandatory penalties established by state law.   In the event one is convicted of a DUI while a child of 14 or younger is in the vehicle, the punishment will be increased by one month which the court may allow the offender to serve on house arrest or work release.  Also, all DUI offenders face the possible risk that their vehicles could be impounded for up to one year.

Common DUI 

Penalties for a common DUI vary based on the number of convictions that one has on their record.

For a first conviction, the offender will have to serve a minimum of 48 hours to a maximum of six months imprisonment.  Fines will not be less than $750.00 but no more than $1,000. The court may decide to impose 100 hours of public service instead of serving jail time.  However, in order to be granted probation, suspension, reduction of sentence or parole, the offender must either serve the minimum sentence or complete the 100 public service hours, unless otherwise conditioned by court.  Completion of an education, treatment program, or both will be required.

Upon a second conviction, the offender will have to serve a minimum of 90 days to a maximum of one year imprisonment.  Fines will not be less than $1,250.00 but no more than $1,750.  The offender must serve at least five consecutive days before being granted probation or reduction in sentence.  After serving at least 48 hours, the five days required can be served in work release programs as long as the offender returns to confinement at the end of each day.  Alternatively, after serving at least 48 hours, the court may allow the person to serve out the remainder of the sentence under house arrest.   Completion of an approved treatment program is required.

Upon a third conviction, the offender will be sentenced to a minimum of 90 days and not more than one year imprisonment.  Fines will be imposed at a minimum of $1,750 to a maximum of $2,500.  After serving 48 consecutive hours, the court may allow the offender to finish the 90 days mandatory imprisonment in a work release program so long as the person returns to confinement after work or the court  or on house arrest. If convicted of a third DUI,  the court may order the offender to serve out their time in a state health  facility while completing a substance abuse program.  As a condition of parole, the offender will be required to complete a treatment program for alcohol and drug abuse.  After a third conviction, the offender will be placed in the custody of a correctional services program for a mandatory period of one year supervision.

Upon a fourth or subsequent DUI, the offender must serve a minimum of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum of one year and fined $2,750.  After serving 72 consecutive hours the offender may qualify for work release to serve the minimum 90 day requirement.  Further, the court may order the offender to serve out their time in a state health facility while completing a substance abuse program.  After serving the term of imprisonment, the person will be placed in the custody of a correctional services program and will be required to participate in an inpatient or outpatient program including mental health counseling.  The offender must stay in this “post-release” care for a mandatory period of one year.

With respect to the fines, the court may order the offender to perform community service.  Each hour will be a $5 credit on the fine imposed.  Also, it is at the courts discretion to either impound or immobilize the offenders’ vehicle for a maximum of one year and require that the offender pay all related costs.

In addition to the aforementioned punishments, all offenders will be subject to driving restrictions and suspensions.  Upon a first conviction, driving privileges will be suspended for 30 days and restricted for 330 days with an ignition interlock option. (This rule will only be in effect until June 30, 2015). Upon a second conviction, driving privileges will be suspended for one year. After the one year suspension, the offender will have a restricted license for one year to driving only a vehicle with an ignition interlock device.  Upon a third conviction, driving privileges will be suspended for one year followed by a two year ignition interlock restriction.  Upon a fourth conviction, driving privileges will be suspended for one year followed by a three year ignition interlock restriction.   Upon a fifth conviction, the persons driving privileges suspended for one year, followed by a ten year ignition interlock restriction.

Commercial DUI

To be charged with a commercial DUI, a blood alcohol concentration of .04 is all that is required.  Upon a first conviction, the offender must serve at least 48 consecutive hours and no more than six months imprisonment, or the court may order 100 hours of public service.  Fines will range from a minimum of $750 and a maximum of $1,000.  Successful completion of an alcohol and drug safety education plan is required.  Additionally, a treatment program may be required at the courts discretion.

Upon a second conviction for a commercial DUI,  the offender must serve at least 90 days and no more than one year imprisonment.  Fines will range from a minimum of $1,250 and a maximum of $1,750. After serving a minimum of five consecutive days, the court may allow the remainder of the time to be served on house arrest or a work release program. If on house arrest they are required to serve 120 hours of confinement within the residence.  As a condition to parole, reduction of sentence, or probation -the offender must successful complete a treatment program alcohol and drug abuse.

Upon a third conviction for a commercial DUI, the offender must serve at least 90 days and no more than one year imprisonment.  Fines will range from a minimum of $1,750 and a maximum of 2,500. After serving a minimum of 48 consecutive hours, the court may allow the remainder of the mandatory 90 days to be served on house arrest or a work release program.  If on house arrest they are required to serve 240 hours of confinement within the residence.  As a condition to parole, reduction of sentence, or probation- the offender must successful complete a treatment program alcohol and drug abuse.

A person will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a minimum of one year upon a first occurrence for several reasons. One, if while driving a commercial vehicle they are convicted of violating the commercial DUI statute (.04 BAC). Two, if while driving a commercial vehicle they refuse to take a test. Third, if while driving a noncommercial vehicle they are convicted of a common DUI (.08 BAC).  Fourth, if while driving a noncommercial vehicle they refuse to take a test.  Last, if while driving any type of vehicle they are convicted of a felony, such as involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol.

A person will be disqualified for life for a commercial license upon a second or subsequent occurrence for test failure or refusal arising from two separate incidents.  A disqualification for life may be limited to a minimum of ten years if the secretary of revenue chooses to do so.

Underage DUI

In the state of Kansas, minors can be charged with a different type of  DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration above .02 but less than .08.  In such event, the minors driving privileges will be suspended for 30 days upon the first occurrence and for one year for a second or subsequent occurrence.  Additionally, the minor will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle.

In the event that the minors blood alcohol concentration is .08 or above their driving privileges will be suspended for one year upon a first occurrence.  Upon a second occurrence, the minor will be subjected to the same penalties for a common DUI.  In the event that the minors’ blood alcohol level is .15 or above their driving privileges will be suspended for one year and then they will have a restricted license for one year on a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device.

Involuntary manslaughter while under the Influence of Alcohol

A person who is charged with involuntary manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol will be subject to very harsh penalties.  Here, a person can be found guilty without criminal intent for conduct that violates KSA 8-1567, which is the criminal DUI statute in Kansas.  This crime is considered an off the grid felony, or person felony, with a severity level of four.  For this type of crime, probation is recommended for a period of 36 months, fines can be up to $300,000 and imprisonment can vary from 88-172 months.

To determine the length of sentence, the court will look at the offenders prior driving record, including DUI’s from out of state and also look to factors such as the blood alcohol concentration of the offender.  In some cases, the court has looked at the victim’s level of fault in the accident.  For example, if a sober driver could not have seen a crossing pedestrian this may be taken into consideration when determining the severity of penalties to be imposed.  The DUI charge is already built into this crime, so the offender will not be charged with a separate DUI offense.  However, this crime cannot be expunged from ones’ record.


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