Kentucky Doubles Look-Back Window to Ten Years For Prior DUI Offenses

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by Kristin Russell

On April 9, 2016, Governor Matt Bevin signed Kentucky Senate Bill 56 into law. This bill amended multiple sections of KRS Chapter 189A, relating to DUI. Under the prior law, the look-back window for prior DUI offenses was only 5 years. The prior law subjected individuals convicted of DUI to greater or enhanced penalties if found guilty and/or convicted of any future DUI offenses within 5 years. Under the new law, individuals convicted of DUI will be subjected to greater or enhanced penalties if found guilty and/or convicted of any future DUI offenses within 10 years. The DUI penalties in Kentucky are listed below. Any conviction also includes court costs, DUI service fee, treatment program fee, and county and state fees in addition to the below listed penalties:

First DUI Within 10 Years:

  • $200.00 - $500.00 fine and/or 48 hours to 30 days in jail. Community service of 48 hours to 30 days may be substituted for fine or jail.
  • Mandatory minimum of 4 days in jail if aggravating circumstance is present (see below)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment program - 90 days
  • License suspension of 30-120 days (or if Defendant is under 18, until Defendant reaches age 18, whichever is longer)
  • May apply for a hardship license after minimum suspension period expires. If aggravated offense, mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of 6 months.

Second DUI Within 10 Years:

  • $350.00 - $500.00 fine and 7 days to 6 months in jail. Court may order 10 days to 6 months community labor. Must serve minimum of jail and/or community labor.
  • Mandatory minimum of 14 days in jail if aggravating circumstance is present (see below)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment program - 1 year
  • License suspension of 12 - 18 months (or if Defendant is under 18, until Defendant reaches age 18, whichever is longer)
  • Mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of 12 months. License plate impoundment if ignition interlock license requirements are not met.

Third DUI Within 10 Years:

  • $500.00 - $1000.00 fine and 30 days to 12 months in jail. Court may order 10 days to 12 months community labor. Must serve minimum of jail and/or community labor.
  • Mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail if aggravating circumstance is present (see below)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment program - 1 year
  • License suspension of 24 - 36 months
  • Mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of 30 months. License plate impoundment if ignition interlock license requirements are not met.

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Within 10 Years:

  • Class D Felony - 1 to 5 years in prison. Must serve 120 days.
  • Mandatory minimum of 240 days in jail if aggravating circumstance is present (see below)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment program - 1 year
  • License suspension of 5 years. No hardship license.
  • Mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of 30 months. License plate impoundment if ignition interlock license requirements are not met.

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES

  • Operating motor vehicle in excess of 30 miles per hour above the speed limit
  • Operating motor vehicle in wrong direction on limited access highway
  • Operating motor vehicle that causes accident resulting in death or serious physical injury
  • Operating motor vehicle while alcohol concentration in operator's blood or breath is 0.15 or more as measured by test(s) of a sample of the operator's blood or breath taken within 2 hours of cessation of operation of the motor vehicle
  • Refusing to submit to any test(s) [blood, breath, or urine] requested by officer having reasonable grounds to believe person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of KRS 189A.010(1)
  • Operating motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under 12 years of age

Doubling the look-back window for prior DUI offenses to 10 years complicates any potential expungement of a First DUI offense. Technically, a person convicted of a First DUI offense could petition the court for expungement, assuming they meet the requirements for eligibility, no sooner than 5 years after the completion of the person's sentence or 5 years after the successful completion of the person's probation, whichever occurs later. KRS 431.078. While expungement of a DUI conviction has always been left to the discretion of the court, the court may no longer expunge a DUI conviction after 5 years when the look-back window for prior offenses is now 10 years. The full effect of the new law will prove challenging pending and prior DUI litigation.