Kentucky DUI Laws & Penalties

Kentucky DUI law states that it is against the law for any person to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.

It is also against the law for any person 21 years of age or older to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while their ability to operate the vehicle is impaired due the consumption of alcohol or drugs. Even with a blood alcohol concentration of less than .08% you may still be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Kentucky.



It is not against the law to refuse to submit to the field sobriety tests or the preliminary breath test the officer will request you to take while at the DUI stop.  If you are arrested and transported to the police station, you are require, by law to submit to the official breath, blood or urine test at the police station.  Failure to submit to the official chemical test is an aggravating circumstance that will result in a longer jail sentence.

In the state of Kentucky law enforcement must allow you up to 15 minutes before submitting to the official chemical test in which to try and contact an attorney.  If you are unable to contact an attorney in the allotted 15 minutes allowed, you must still submit to the official chemical test or face a longer jail sentence.

Kentucky First Offense DUI

A first offense DUI conviction in Kentucky is a Class B non-person misdemeanor offense. The penalties for a first offense DUI charge are as follows:

  • Jail time: The jail sentence for a first offense conviction is 2 to 30 days.  The offense will be considered an aggravated offense if one of the following apply and you will face a minimum 4 days in jail if:
    • You were driving at least 30 mph over the posted speed limit.
    • You were driving the wrong way on a limited access highway.
    • You caused an accident that resulted in death or serious injury to another person.
    • Your BAC level was .18% or greater.
    • You refused to submit to the official chemical test.
    • There was a passenger under the age of 12 in the vehicle at the time.
  • Fines: The fine for a first offense conviction will be between $200 and $500 plus you will have to pay all related court costs.
  • Community service: The court may order you to serve 48 hours to 30 days of community service.
  • Substance abuse program: You will be required to attend a state approved 90 day alcohol or substance abuse program. You must complete an approved program before your license will be reinstated.
  • Test refusal: A first offense refusal will result in a 30 day license revocation, no driving allowed. If you are convicted the jail sentence period will double.
  • Ignition interlock: An IID may be required for up to 6 months for a first offense.
  • License suspension: Your license will be suspended for 30 to 120 days for a first offense.  You may be eligible for a hardship license if you meet the courts requirements. Before the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will reinstate your license or issue you a hardship license, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the Transportation Cabinet showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Kentucky SR22 insurance policy.

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Kentucky Second Offense DUI

A second offense conviction in Kentucky within 5-years of a previous offense is a 'repeat offender'.  The penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: The minimum jail sentence for a second offense within 5-years of a previous conviction is 7-days and the maximum jail sentence is 6-months. As long as the first 48 hours are served consecutively the remainder of the sentence can be served on the weekends.  The offense will be considered an aggravated offense if one of the following apply and you will face an additional 14 days in jail:
    • You were driving at least 30 mph over the posted speed limit.
    • You were driving the wrong way on a limited access highway.
    • You caused an accident that resulted in death or serious injury to another person.
    • Your BAC level was .18% or greater.
    • You refused to submit to the official chemical test.
    • There was a passenger under the age of 12 in the vehicle at the time.
  • Fines: The fine for a second offense will be $350 to $500 plus you will have to pay all related court costs.
  • Community service: The court may order you to serve 10 days or up to 6-months of community service.
  • Substance abuse program: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol or substance abuse program for a period of 1-year.
  • Test refusal: A second offense refusal will result in a 1 year license revocation, no driving allowed. If you are convicted the jail sentence period will double.
  • Ignition interlock: An IID may be required for up to 1 year for a second offense within 5 years of previous offense.
  • License suspension: Your license will be suspended for 12 to 18-months for a second offense within 5-years of a previous offense.  You may be eligible for a hardship license if you meet the courts requirements.  You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle before your license is reinstated. Before the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will reinstate your license or issue you a hardship license, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the Transportation Cabinet showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Kentucky SR22 policy.

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Kentucky Third Offense DUI

A third offense conviction in Kentucky within 5-years of a previous offense is a 'repeat offender'.  The penalties for a third offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: The minimum jail sentence for a third offense within 5-years of a previous conviction is 30 days to 1 year.  The offense will be considered an aggravated offense if one of the following apply and you will face an additional 60 days in jail:
    • You were driving at least 30 mph over the posted speed limit.
    • You were driving the wrong way on a limited access highway.
    • You caused an accident that resulted in death or serious injury to another person.
    • Your BAC level was .18% or greater.
    • You refused to submit to the official chemical test.
    • There was a passenger under the age of 12 in the vehicle at the time.
  • Fines: The fine for a third offense will be $500 to $1,000 plus you will have to pay all related court costs.
  • Community service: You to serve a minimum of 10 days up to 12 months of community service.
  • Substance abuse program: You will be required to attend a state approved alcohol or substance abuse program for a period of 1-year.
  • Test refusal: A third offense refusal will result in a 2 year license revocation, no driving allowed. If you are convicted the jail sentence period will double.
  • Ignition interlock: An IID may be required for up to 2 year for a third offense within 5 years of previous offense.
  • License suspension: Your license will be suspended for 2 to 3-years for a third offense within 5-years of a previous offense.  You may be eligible for a hardship license if you meet the courts requirements.  You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle before your license is reinstated. Before the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will reinstate your license or issue you a hardship license, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the Transportation Cabinet showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Kentucky SR-22 insurance policy.

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Kentucky DUI Under 21 Years of Age

If you are stopped for any reason and found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a blood alcohol concentration of .02% or greater while under the age of 21 you are in violation Kentucky's 'zero tolerance' law for someone under 21 and will be arrested for DUI in Kentucky.



A first time offender in Kentucky will have their license suspended from 30-days to 6-months for a first offense violation and will have to pay $100 to $500 in fines.  The court may order 20-hours of community service in lieu of any fines.

A second time offender will have their license suspended for 90-days and if you have a third or subsequent offense under the age of 21 your license will be suspended for 1-year.

Kentucky CMV DUI Penalties

A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in Kentucky is considered to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and will be arrested if their blood alcohol concentration is .04% or greater while operating a CMV.  If any amount of alcohol is found in your system, the officer will issue you an 'out of service' notice and you will not be able to drive for 24-hours.

If you are found to have a BAC of .04% or greater, your CDL will be revoked for 1-year.  If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time of the violation, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years.  You will also face jail time, fines and other penalties as listed below depending on the offense.

Kentucky SR22 Requirements

Before the Kentucky Transportation Department will reinstate your license following your suspension period, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Kentucky SR22 coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Kentucky Transportation Department of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Kentucky Transportation Department will immediately suspend your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the department before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Kentucky and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in Kentucky for any less. Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Kentucky DUI Resources

  • Kentucky First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Kentucky SR22 Insurance FIling - We have compiled everything you need to know about Kentucky's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Kentucky DUI Assessment/Substance Abuse Programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI assessment & substance abuse programs listed by County.

  • Kentucky Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Kentucky bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.