There is no excuse for driving while intoxicated. It is illegal, dangerous, and a felony in most states. Driving while intoxicated impairs your perception, your reaction times, and your judgment on the road. This activity is a recipe for disaster, and yet is still all too common. In addition to the risks associated with a DUI, it is an expensive choice.
The Cost of a DUI
For many Americans, driving makes it possible to go to work, school, the grocery store, bank, etc. While there may be some public transportation in major cities, for most of us there is no substitute for driving a vehicle. Getting a DUI can eliminate that possibility.
Estimates from the Secretary of State show that salvaging the right to operate a vehicle can be between $15,000 and $20,000 in most states. This may include attorney fees, court costs, etc. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a DUI conviction in Texas can top $24,000.
In addition to paying thousands of dollars for the privilege to drive again, you can count on your auto insurance rates to skyrocket. This increase only adds to the financial cost of a DUI conviction. After a DUI, you will be categorized as a high-risk driver and may be required to purchase an SR22 policy. An SR22 status is a probationary period, usually three years before you are eligible for mainstream auto insurance coverage.
Even after you are off SR22 status, the DUI may still remain on your record for up to seven years, which will increase your auto insurance rates across the board. Add a fender bender, a speeding ticket, or an accident to your record and your rates may soar even higher. Some insurers may not even give you this option; they may simply cancel or not renew your policy.
DUI in Kentucky
Kentucky's DUI law has an "Illegal Per Se" provision. This "Illegal Per Se" means it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher and prosecutors no longer have to prove defendants were impaired if so long as the that test is given within 2 hours of operation of motor vehicle.
This means that you don’t even have to be pulled over while driving, but if someone can prove you were driving within two hours of intoxication, you are at risk for a DUI offence. In the state of Kentucky, a first offense DUI is punishable by up to 30 days in Jail, a fine anywhere from $200 to $500 and a license suspension from 30-120 days.
You may also be required to complete community service or a rehab program, as designated by the court. A repeat offence in the next five years will find you with up to 6 months in jail, a 1 year rehab program, and a suspension of your driver’s license for over a year.