Kentucky DUI Defense Attorneys
With the exception of the stray parking ticket or busted headlight, most people don’t have much experience being pulled over by the police. Being pulled over is stressful – people don’t know how to act, what to say, what to prepare for, even something as simple as where to put their hands — and worst of all, they don’t know their rights. The stress is only compounded if they’ve had a few drinks and the potential of a DUI is walking up to the driver’s side window, while they wonder what they’ll tell family and friends and whether jail time is in the future.
Let McNeely Stephenson Help You
Being charged with a DUI in Kentucky can have terrible consequences. Not only will your driver’s license be affected in almost all cases, but you’ll have to pay fines, potentially attend classes and do community service. Your record will be tarnished, as well as suffering a blow to your reputation. Let the defense firm of McNeely Stephenson in New Albany help. We have both the knowledge and the experience to help you create the strongest defense possible, and the resources to do the leg work that often makes the difference. Time is of the essence. If you have been arrested or charged, it’s important to retain legal counsel as soon as possible in order to begin the defense as early as possible. If you have questions or want to set up a consultation, contact McNeely Stephenson online, or call us at 812.725.8224. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. Whatever the specifics of your case, we will be relentless in fighting for you.
DUI in Kentucky
Contrary to some common perceptions, you do not have to be staggering drunk to receive a driving under the influence charge (DUI) in Kentucky. Even if you are following all the traffic laws, a minor offense like having a broken mirror or forgetting to put on the new insurance sticker are enough to get pulled over, and once that occurs, if there is a hint of alcohol, the police may test to see if there is alcohol in your system. Kentucky follows the federal standard, meaning a .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) is considered legally intoxicated. While that is the standard for DUI, arrests may be made for any level of intoxication, and an individual may be charged with reckless driving or any of a variety of other charges.
Why You Need Counsel
Very little is necessary to be arrested under suspicion of driving impaired, and if that is the case, once the stress wear off, some questions are common: How accurate are breathalyzers and blood tests? How long before I get out of jail, and what happens then? What do I have to file? What about court? Will my license be suspended, and if it is, how will I get to work or the hospital? These uncertainties can be as bad as the arrest itself. That is where legal representation can step in. McNeely Stephenson can help you find the answers to your questions and begin helping you sort things out. You need someone who has been there before, and McNeely Stephenson will help you through the process.
Possible Defense Strategies
- Being charged with DUI is not the end of the process, but only the beginning. Once charges are filed, a good defense strategy can make all the difference. The two main qualifications the prosecution must prove are that the defendant was both drunk and actually driving, not simply sitting in, a motor vehicle.
- Stop – Probable cause is necessary for a traffic stop. If the stop was arbitrary, the case could be dismissed.
- Breathalyzer/Sobriety Test – Proof of intoxication rests with these tests, which establishes one of the two criteria for the crime.
- Necessity – The need for driving to avoid harm outweighed the potential consequences of the DUI.
Implied Consent Law in Kentucky
To try an individual for DUI in Kentucky, the state must first prove alcohol was present and measure the BAC. To do this, an officer will use a breathalyzer, which measures alcohol content based on the individual blowing into a machine that breaks apart the chemicals, or a blood test. Kentucky’s Implied Consent Law states as a driver in the state, the individual has consented to take the tests. The defendant may still refuse to take them, but must suffer immediate penalties. It is the right of the defendant to refuse to take either test, but doing so under the implied consent law may mean an immediate license suspension. For the first offense, the suspension is 30 to 120 days; for the second offense, one year to 18 months; the third offense, two to three years; and the fourth and subsequent offenses result in a five-year license suspension. In some cases, refusing to take the test can be used in court to suggest the driver was intoxicated and that was the reason they refused to take the test.
Kentucky DUI Law and Statistics
Kentucky has strict laws about drinking and driving. In 2015 alone, the state reported 23,024 DUI violations. One reason for the strict stance is the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers. The CDC reports that more than 2,041 people died in Kentucky between 2003 and 2012, and in 2015 there were 162 fatal crashes, 1,418 collisions resulting in injuries, 175 people killed and 2,072 people injured in alcohol-related injuries.
The state, as a result, continues to enforce tougher laws and sentences to combat the issue. The basics state that a person with a .08 percent BAC or higher is driving under the influence. For drivers under 21, the BAC level drops to .02 percent, and for commercial drivers the BAC percentage is .04.
Kentucky DUI Penalties
If convicted for a first-time DUI, the defendant can expect a license suspension from 30 to 120 days; two to 30 days in jail; fines of between $200 and $500; ninety days of alcohol or substance abuse treatment; and community labor of 48 hours to 30 days. For the second and subsequent offenses, the penalties increase exponentially, and may also include the addition of an ignition interlock device – essentially a breathalyzer attached to the vehicle which will not allow it to start if the driver has a BAC higher than .02.
McNeely Stephenson of New Albany has the Experience You Need
An accusation is a long way from a conviction, and the attorneys of McNeely Stephenson have the experience to defend you from the charges against you. We know the system, we know the protocol, and we know how DUI works in Kentucky. We know the law, and will work to use that knowledge to give you every advantage in the courtroom.
McNeely Stephenson, a law firm in New Albany, Indiana, has faithfully served the people and communities of Indiana and Kentucky for several years in a variety of legal areas. We have the experience and resources to help. To ask a question or to set up a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 812.725.8224.