It’s up to you to know and adhere to all laws related to driving, including those having to do with driver impairment. If you just recently moved to Kentucky from another state, it’s a good idea to learn more about its laws, since they might be different from those that governed operation of a motor vehicle in the state you lived in before coming here. Regarding DUI laws, there are several things to know.
Penalties under conviction of drunk driving can be severe in Kentucky, including up to 30 days of imprisonment for a first offense. If you’re arrested and convicted for DUI under age 21, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) level registered .08 or higher, you will be subject to the same sentence as a driver who is age 21 or older. It is important to research state laws and to seek clarification of any law you don’t understand.
“Physical control of a vehicle” is an important legal phrase in Kentucky
One of the basic DUI laws in Kentucky states that a person may face arrest for suspected drunk driving if there is probable cause to do so while he or she is in physical control of a vehicle. This means that you don’t have to be driving your car in a literal sense in order for police to take you into custody for DUI.
“Physical control of the vehicle” basically equates to “sitting behind the wheel” of a parked car. If you’re at the wheel in a parked vehicle, you are legally in “physical control” of the car. If you exhibit signs of intoxication in such circumstances, a police officer can arrest you.
Issues that constitute “aggravated” DUI in this state
Under certain conditions, DUI charges may be elevated to a higher level known as “aggravated” DUI. For instance, if you received a citation for driving 30 miles per hour or more in excess of the posted speed limit and the police arrested you for DUI in the same instance, you could wind up facing “aggravated” DUI charges. Other issues that would be legitimate cause for such charges include driving in the wrong direction, a BAC level of .15 or higher or carrying a passenger under age 12.
How should you plead if you’re charged with DUI?
If a Kentucky police officer takes you into custody for suspected drunk driving, you will have numerous decisions to make. For instance, you’ll need to enter a plea in court. You might assume, if you know that you consumed alcohol before driving, that you should plead guilty. However, doing so isn’t always the best course of action.
It’s helpful to seek guidance from someone who understands the criminal justice system. Facing DUI charges is stressful, but you can take comfort in knowing that you don’t have to go through it all alone.