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DUI in Kentucky: What To Know As Thanksgiving Approaches

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, you are probably looking forward to spending the holiday with family and friends. If you raise a glass when you do, you’ll be well within the Thanksgiving tradition. After all, beer was an important source of calories for the Pilgrims.

But law enforcement is also known to have especially aggressive DUI enforcement during the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are some important items to know if you are ever stopped for DUI.

There are penalties for refusing a chemical test.

One thought that may have crossed your mind since your first DUI is “if only I had refused to take the roadside breath test.” But can you do that?

It’s important to realize that Kentucky has an Implied Consent Law. Anyone operating a motor vehicle – or even a vehicle that is not defined as such – is deemed to have already given consent to blood, breath, urine or combination tests. If you refuse, your license could be immediately suspended. The suspension period is based on the number of refusals.

Chemical tests are not as subjective as field sobriety tests, but can still be challenged.

Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a standardized manual on field sobriety tests, these tests tend to be quite subjective. Impairment is all too often in the eyes of the officer-beholder.

Blood and breath tests are less subjective, but there are still many ways in which they can be challenged, such as lack of probable cause for the stop or calibration errors in the testing machine

If youre found to be intoxicated, your penalties will increase for a repeat DUI.

Second offenses within a 10-year period come with the following possible penalties:

  • $350-500 fine
  • Seven days to six months in jail – if aggravating circumstances are present, it’s 14 days
  • 12-18 months license suspension
  • 10 days to six months of community labor

If your second offense is outside of the 10-year period, the penalties will be treated as if it was your first offense.

Fines and jail time increase with your blood alcohol content

There are several factors that can escalate your DUI to aggravated DUI, one of which is simply your blood alcohol content. A DUI charge can be increased to aggravated DUI if your BAC is 0.15% or over, which can increase fines and jail time.

If you do ever face DUI charges, you should be sure your rights are protected. Ultimately, the most effective strategy to protect your rights this holiday season is to drink responsibly and enjoy a safe and happy holiday with your loved ones.

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