Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol carries significant legal consequences in Kentucky. The state defines DUI as blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%, or higher than 0.04% for drivers who have a commercial license. You can also receive this charge when the penalties may increase depending on the circumstances of your case and any history of DUI.

Before facing these charges in court, learn about the possible sentences for a DUI conviction.

First-time offense

Kentucky is one of the few states where drivers convicted of DUI may complete an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program in lieu of jail time. First offenders must attend rehabilitation for 90 days and will receive a 30- to 120-day driver’s license suspension. They must choose a program the state has authorized for DUI treatment. Completion of an online program does not qualify. Currently, about 250 drug and alcohol rehabilitation providers throughout the state have approval to treat DUI.

Fines for a first-time DUI range from $200 to $500. Failure to complete drug and alcohol treatment may result in 48 hours to 30 days in jail.

Subsequent offenses

For all additional offenses within the same 10-year period, the court requires a year of substance abuse treatment. You will also receive a 12- to 18-month license suspension for a second offense, 24 to 36 months for a third offense and 60 months for a fourth offense. During the driver’s license suspension period, you must forfeit your vehicle’s license plates. You will also receive a fine of $350 to $500 for a second offense, and $500 to $1,000 for subsequent offenses, as well as up to 12 months in jail.

Commercial driver penalties

All DUI offenses by a commercial driver result in a one-year license suspension, regardless of the type of vehicle he or she was driving during the incident. The driver must retake the vision, skills-based and written commercial driver’s license test and hold a permit for 14 days before the court will reinstate the CDL. He or she must also pay a $50 fee.