Ignition Interlock Laws in Kentucky
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Kentucky may result in a court order for an ignition interlock device (IID). IIDs are small devices that measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver before the vehicle is started and while the driver is operating the vehicle. Offenders must obtain IIDs from service providers that are approved by the State of Kentucky. The offender is responsible for any and all costs associated with the IID, including installation, leasing, maintenance, servicing and removal.
Prior to starting the vehicle, the driver is required to submit a breath alcohol sample into the IID. If the IID detects a BAC that is above the pre-set limit of 0.02, the vehicle will not start. While the driver is operating the vehicle, the IID sounds an alert indicating that the driver is required to submit a breath sample. If the “rolling re-test” indicates that the driver has a BAC that is above 0.02, the IID triggers the vehicle’s horn and lights. To stop the IID from activating the horn and lights, the driver must submit a clean breath sample or turn off the vehicle’s ignition.
The offender must have the IID serviced and calibrated at the frequency defined by the court and approved service provider. If the offender fails to have the IID calibrated for a period of 97 days, the IID initiates a permanent lockout phase. During the lockout, the vehicle will not start under any circumstances, and the offender must have the vehicle towed to the authorized service provider. The offender is responsible for any and all costs associated with the lockout, including the towing fees. The offender must maintain a record of the IID installation and calibration, and these records must be in the vehicle at all times and presented to law enforcement when required.
The ignition interlock device records the number of attempts to start the vehicle, the results of each breath sample, how long the vehicle is operated and any evidence of bypassing or tampering with the IID. The IID is designed to immediately alert law enforcement if a re-test is not performed by the offender and when the results of the breath sample indicate a BAC of 0.02 or higher.
Kentucky law has an “illegal per se” provision that defines DUI as operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. In some cases, evidence may support a DUI conviction when the offender’s BAC is less than 0.08. Commercial drivers are limited to a BAC of 0.04. If the DUI case involves aggravating circumstances, Kentucky courts order additional jail time.
Repeat offenders with two or more DUI convictions must forfeit the license plates of all vehicles during the time that their driving privileges are suspended. After a statutory suspension period, the offender may be required to install and maintain an IID in any and all vehicles that are operated by the offender.
For a second DUI offense within five years of a prior offense, the offender is required to pay a $350 to $500 fine, serve seven days to six months in jail, complete one year of alcohol and drug treatment and complete ten days to six months of community labor. if the case involves aggravating circumstances, the court orders an additional 14 days of jail time. The offender’s driving privileges are suspended for a period of 12 to 18 months.
A third DUI conviction within five years of a prior conviction results in a $500 to $1,000 fine, 30 days to 12 months in jail, one year of alcohol and drug treatment and ten days to 12 months of community labor. Driving privileges are suspended for a period of 24 to 36 months. If the case involves aggravating circumstances, the court orders an additional 60 days of jail time.
Offenders who commit a fourth DUI offense within five years of a prior conviction are convicted of a Class D felony. Jail time is a minimum of 120 days without probation. If the case involves aggravating circumstances, the court orders an additional 240 days of jail time. Offenders must complete one year of alcohol and drug treatment, and their driving privileges are suspended for a period of 60 months.