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Penalties for DUI in Kentucky

The penalties for DUI differ based on the number of DUIs one has been convicted of in the past and the time that has passed since one’s previous conviction. When one has been found guilty of a DUI they will face several penalties, such as: jail time, monetary fine, license suspension, community service, and a substance abuse education program. For a first offense within five years one may be fined no less than two-hundred dollars but no more than five-hundred dollars, or sentenced to jail for a period between two days and thirty days, or both. After one has been sentenced he/she may ask the judge to have the jail sentence replaced with community service hours. The hours of community service can vary anywhere from two days to thirty days. If there are aggravated circumstances present there is a minimum jail sentence of four days. This is a mandatory sentence that may not be suspended or discharged for any reason.

A second DUI conviction within five years of a prior conviction carries a fine of not less than three hundred fifty dollars and not more than five hundred dollars. While the first offense says that one will be fined or imprisoned, the second offense says that one will be fined and imprisoned. The imprisonment period is between seven days and six months. Also, in addition to the monetary fine and the jail term one may be sentenced to community service hours for no less than ten days and no more than six months. However, if there are aggravating circumstances the minimum mandatory jail sentence is fourteen days. This sentence may not be discharged or suspended for any reason. The imprisonment terms for first and second convictions may be served on the weekends in order for the convicted to maintain employment and/or his/her education.

When one is convicted of a third DUI offense within five years one shall be fined in an amount between five hundred dollars and one thousand dollars. Accompanying the fine is a jail sentence of no less than thirty days and no more than one year. Additionally, with the third offense there is a community service penalty between ten days and one year. The mandatory imprisonment term when aggravating circumstances are present is sixty days. This, again, is a mandatory sentence and may not be discharged or suspended.

When one is convicted of a fourth DUI within five years of a previous conviction the offense becomes a Class D felony. The imprisonment sentence is one-hundred twenty days with no chance for probation. The enhanced penalty for aggravated circumstances is an addition two-hundred forty days in jail. A five year license suspension will be imposed and one may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his/her vehicle before the license may be reinstated. The substance abuse program and the community service requirements are the same for a fourth offense as they are for a third offense: one year required education program and anywhere between ten days and one year of community service.

As recognized by Kentucky statutes a prior offense is any conviction for driving under the influence in any jurisdiction. To prove that there is a prior conviction the court must receive a copy of the conviction from the court ordering such conviction.

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