Kentucky DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

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Kentucky DUI Laws like every other state in the United States, has zero tolerance for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, legal or illegal. If you were pulled over because of suspicion, you would be given a blood alcohol concentration test or BAC test.

The test measures the alcohol percentage in your system. If your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit, you will be cited and given a desk appearance. If found guilty, you must face administrative and criminal penalties.

Kentucky DUI Laws & BAC Test

The blood alcohol concentration differs between minors, adults, and commercial drivers for Kentucky DUI laws. For someone to be determined above the legal limit, the BAC test must be:

  • 0.08% or higher for adults (21 years and older)
  • 0.02% or higher for minors (younger than 21 years)
  • 0.04% or higher for commercial drivers

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is also a violation in Kentucky. You may not be under the influence of illegal drugs but over the counter drugs. In any case, you should not be driving and can be cited or lose your insurance.

Refusing a BAC Test

Refusing the BAC test has more consequences than taking the test. When you refuse, your Kentucky driver’s license is immediately suspended. If you repeatedly refuse you will:

  • 1st-time refusal: 30 to 120 days suspension
  • 2nd-time refusal: 12 to 18 months suspension
  • 3rd-time refusal: 2 to 3 years suspension
  • 4th-time refusal or more: 5 years suspension

Kentucky DUI Laws & Penalties

The penalties for a DUI conviction will increase for a repeat offender. The length of the suspension increases and the fines larger. Here are the penalties and fines for:

1st Offense

  • License suspension: 30 to 120 days
  • Jail time: 2 to 30 days
  • Fines: $200 to $500
  • Mandatory alcohol or substance abuse treatment: 90 days
  • Community labor: 48 hours to 30 days

The penalties will increase if minors are present in the vehicle. The charge is going to increase to aggravated DUI and the fines and jail time as well. Aggravated DUI includes the following:

  • A passenger under 12 years old
  • Driving 30 mph or over the speed limit
  • BAC over 0.15%
  • Accident causing serious injury or fatality
  • Driving the wrong way

Reinstate Your Kentucky Driver’s License

You can reinstate your Kentucky driver’s license if you fulfill all the requirements. To get your driving privilege back, you must:

  • Complete your suspension
  • Complete application form
  • Pay $40 reinstatement fee
  • Provide proof of treatment program completion
  • Show proof of ignition interlock device (if the installation was necessary)


If you are charged with aggravated DUI in Kentucky, it’s important to understand the consequences and take all the necessary steps to reinstate your license. Make sure you comply with all legal requirements to avoid additional charges and penalties. With an experienced lawyer’s help, you can ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Taking the time to understand the laws in Kentucky can help ensure a smooth process for getting your license reinstated. So don’t delay – take action and get back on the road!