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What is the Law on Driving Under the Influence with a Child in the Car in Kentucky?

dui with child in car attorney in louisville

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is a serious crime in Kentucky. Penalties are harsh even for a first offense, including the loss of driving privileges, heavy fines, and the possibility of spending some time in jail. If you are arrested for drunk driving in KY with a passenger who is under 12 years of age, this is considered aggravated DUI, which will incur even stricter penalties.

What is Aggravated DUI in KY?

When someone is convicted for DUI, there are two primary variables that determine the severity of the penalties they will face; the number of prior DUI convictions they have within the last 10 years, and whether or not there were any aggravating circumstances present that would warrant enhanced penalties.

Driving under the influence with a child in the car who is under the age of 12 is one of the aggravated circumstances under Kentucky law. Others include:

  • Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher;
  • Driving in excess of 30 MPH over the speed limit;
  • DUI accident resulting in serious injuries or fatalities;
  • Driving the wrong way on a limited access highway;
  • Refusal to submit to a mandatory chemical (breath, blood, or urine) test after a DUI arrest with a prior conviction during the past 10 years.

What are the Penalties for Aggravated DUI in Kentucky?

The penalties for a drunk driving conviction in Kentucky depend largely on how many prior offenses you have had in the last 10 years:

  • First Offense: $200 to $500 in fines, 48 hours to 30 days in jail, and a 30 to 120-day driver’s license suspension.
  • Second Offense: $350 to $500 in fines, 7 days to 6 months in jail, and a 12 to 18-month driver’s license suspension.
  • Third Offense: $500 to $1000 in fines, 30 days to 12 months in jail, and a 24 to 36-month and driver’s license suspension.
  • Fourth (and subsequent) Offense: $1000 to $10,000 in fines, one to five years in prison (with a mandatory minimum of 120 days to be served), and a five-year driver’s license suspension.

Note: On March 26, 2019, Governor Matt Bevin signed into law Senate Bill 85, which gives first-time DUI offenders the option to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle or face a longer driver’s license suspension. This law will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

When there is a DUI with aggravating circumstances, the minimum jail time is doubled, and service of that time is mandatory without the possibility of early release. This means that even a first-time offense for DUI with a child under the age of 12 in the car (or any other aggravated circumstance) would result in a mandatory minimum of four days in jail.

In addition to enhanced DUI penalties, driving while intoxicated with a child in the car could trigger other consequences as well. For example, you could face felony child abuse charges for placing the child in a dangerous situation, and law enforcement officers may also get Child Protective Services (CPS) involved. If CPS believes that you are not properly caring for your child, they may remove the child from your home. And if the DUI caused injury to the child, the charges will be upgraded, and the penalties will be further enhanced.

Arrested for Aggravated DUI in Kentucky? Contact Attorney Ron Aslam for Legal Help

When you are arrested for driving under the influence with a child in the car, you are facing some very harsh consequences; which may include heavy fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and even having your children taken away from you. Your job could be at stake, especially if you have to drive or if you are ever in charge of vulnerable people. Your reputation could be damaged, since drunk driving is heavily frowned on in society. You could face issues in family court, especially if a vengeful ex-partner tries to use your DUI conviction to limit your parenting time.

With so much on the line, you need strong legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to protect your legal rights and interests.

Attorney Ron Aslam understands that those who are arrested for DUI are innocent until proven guilty, and he takes the time to thoroughly analyze your case and formulate the most defective defense strategy to mitigate the circumstances as much as possible. Ron is a former prosecutor who has practiced DUI defense in the Louisville area for many years. He is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, and several other highly respected legal associations.

To schedule a personalized consultation with Attorney Ron Aslam, call us today at 502-581-1676. You may also message us through our online contact form or stop by our Louisville office in person at your convenience.