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Aggravating circumstances in alleged DUI crash?

The Kentucky State Police are investigating an unusual crash. According to police reports, a 46-year-old man recently slammed his vehicle into the back of a county sheriff's cruiser while the officer was stopped on U.S. 60 to assist a driver.

The man who lives about 240 miles east of Benton is charged with DUI and other allegations, including an open container violation.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said the suspect was jailed for DUI, second offense. If he's convicted, he faces a slew of harsh penalties. He could be jailed for anywhere from a week to 6 months, according to commonwealth law. He could also be required to enter a year of alcohol or substance abuse treatment.

The potential punishments don't stop there. He can be fined up to $500, have his driver's license suspended from a year to 18 months and be required to complete at least 10 days of community labor (with the possibility of up to six months).

Many readers might wonder if he faces even harsher penalties because he allegedly caused a motor vehicle accident -- with a police vehicle, no less.

It's possible that aggravating circumstances exist in this case, but from the details gleaned from a media report, it appears that he won't face an aggravated charge. As you might know, aggravating circumstances can result in a higher minimum in jail (in this case, it would be a minimum of 14 days).

According to Kentucky law, aggravating circumstances include the following:

  • If the driver is 30 mph above the speed limit
  • Going the wrong way on a limited access highway
  • Causing an accident that results in someone's death or a serious injury
  • If the driver's BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.15 percent or higher within two hours
  • If the driver refuses to testing
  • If the driver is transporting anyone under 12 years of age

If you face a second DUI offense, or aggravating circumstances charges, you can discuss your case with a Marshall County attorney experienced in drunk driving defense.

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