Have you, or your daughter or son, recently been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Kentucky? If you have never been through this experience before, it can seem frightening and confusing. So a basic overview of what to expect can help.
The first thing you should know is that you might have to spend some time in jail, but if you are arrested for a misdemeanor like DUI, you will be interviewed by a pretrial services officer within 24 hours. The officer will then present the information from that interview with a judge, who will set your bond accordingly. For a first offense, you might have to post $500 in bond so you can be released from jail. You are also entitled to an arraignment hearing, at which you and your defense attorney can request a reduced bond or for you to be released on your own recognizance.
DUI and your driver’s license
Kentucky law punishes drinking and driving in several ways. One thing you should expect if you get convicted or plead guilty is the judge suspending your driver’s license. For a first offense, the suspension typically lasts six months. However, you can get this reduced by enrolling in the Kentucky Ignition Interlock Program (KIIP), which involves undergoing 90 days of an alcohol abuse program and installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. You must not violate any of the program’s rules, such as by tampering with the device or by trying to conceal the identity of the person breathing into the device from the device’s camera (i.e., having someone other than yourself blow into it).
If you follow these and other rules, your suspension period will go down to four months.
Other penalties if you have a clean record
Besides losing your license or having to use an ignition interlock device, if you are convicted, you can expect a fine of at least $200, plus fees and court costs. The judge will also order you to perform between 48 hours and 30 days of community service.
As you can see, a DUI arrest can greatly disrupt your life. But working with a skilled defense attorney can shorten the process and reduce the impact on your personal and professional life. This may include getting the charges reduced or dismissed entirely.