In a study conducted by CarInsuranceComparison.com, Kentucky had the lowest rate of drunk driving-related fatal crashes in the country. The state received a score of 51, which is the highest a state could score. Higher scores mean better drivers. The study also provided rankings in other categories. Kentucky landed sixth on Fatalities Rate per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled. In terms of Failure to Obey Traffic Laws, Kentucky placed second. This means Kentucky has a high percentage of fatal crashes involving traffic signals, not wearing seat belts and invalid driver’s licenses. This is a significant improvement since 1988 when the Carrollton bus crash, the deadliest drunk driving crash in U.S. history, happened.
DUI in Kentucky
DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol. As we all know, alcohol impairs our ability to drive. In Kentucky, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. This is an “Illegal Per Se” provision, which means that there is no need for prosecutors to prove defendants were impaired. DUI penalties in Kentucky will vary depending on the circumstances or severity of the case. Generally, the sentencing guidelines for a Kentucky DUI conviction are as follows:
|1st Offense Within a Five Year Period||2nd Offense Within A Five Year Period||3rd Offense Within A Five Year Period||4th Offense Within A Five Year Period|
|Jail||2 -30 days||7 days -6 months||30 days - 12 months||Minimum Term: 120 days imprisonment without probation|
|Fines and Penalties||$200 - $500||$300 - $500||$500 - $1,000||Class D Felony|
|License Suspension||30 - 120 days||12 - 18 months||24 - 36 months||60 months|
|Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program/Treatment||90 days||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|Community Labor||Possible: 48 hours - 30 days||10 days - 6 months||10 days - 12 months||Class D Felony|
|If Aggravating Circumstances Present||4 days imprisonment||14 days imprisonment||60 days imprisonment||240 days imprisonment|
DUIs increase during the holiday season
During the holiday season, there is typically an increase in drunk driving-related fatalities due to parties and festivities. That’s why Kentucky State Police are searching for drunk drivers and have been doing so since December 12, 2014 as part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. The active search will last until January 1, 2015. According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), Kentucky recorded more than 440 alcohol-related crashes in December 2013, resulting in eight deaths and 239 injuries.
Related: Kentucky Passes Ignition Interlock Bill
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to remind everyone to be responsible while enjoying time with family and friends. If you’re going to a party that has alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver or plan on staying the night. Let’s keep this holiday season safe, healthy and happy by driving sober.