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Protecting Your Rights Since 1987

Toughened Kentucky DUI law ready to go into effect

March Madness was in complete control of Marshall County and the rest of the Commonwealth as both the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville were in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. Some folks might not have noticed as the General Assembly voted to toughen DUI punishments in late March.

Months later, a Transportation Cabinet spokesperson told a Paducah newspaper that the agency is finalizing regulations that will require some DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.

The law passed in March will require all repeat DUI offenders to have the devices installed in their vehicles. First offenders with aggravating conditions will also have to have ignition interlocks put in their cars.

An ignition interlock requires a driver to exhale into the device before starting the vehicle. If alcohol is detected in the person's breath, the vehicle won't start and authorities are alerted of the failed test.

What are the aggravating circumstances that will require an ignition interlock for a first-time offender? According to the Transportation Cabinet website, they include the following:

  • Causing an accident resulting in serious injury or death
  • Driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit
  • Refusal to submit to testing
  • Going the wrong way on a limited access highway
  • Having a child under 12 in the vehicle

In a few days, those convicted of aggravated DUI and those convicted of a second (or more) drunken driving offense will be required by the court to install an ignition interlock at your expense, in addition to all of the other relevant penalties, fines and restrictions. A Benton attorney experienced in drunk driving defense examines the evidence in your case, negotiates with prosecutors when appropriate and fights for your freedom in court whenever necessary.

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