Jun 22, 2020
Episode 8: In this episode, Louisville criminal defense attorney Tim Denison discusses DUI law as it relates to Kentucky and what you should do at the scene.
The most important thing to remember, if you get pulled over for a DUI, is to keep your mouth shut and to call your lawyer immediately. The police are obligated to allow you to call your lawyer within 10-15 minutes of arrival at jail. Don’t give excuses to the police officer. You will probably get arrested no matter what, so why create all these extra facts building up against you by trying to justify what happened.
It is very important to look at the sequence of events and the time it took place. Your lawyer may have an argument of accuracy under the manufacturer’s instructions, if there is an elapse of too much time involving the testing. Similarly, if you are using blood or moving to suppress the blood, you need to know what time it was taken, who took it, and there can be a huge custody issue on that as well.
The driver usually knows how much he/she had to drink. If it was truly one or two drinks, in a first case scenario, you should take the breathalyzer test when you get to jail not at the scene. Never take the field sobriety test (PPT) because it is a given that you will probably fail. If you don’t take the test, you could foreclose a lot of opportunities. If you are going in and you don’t think you are going to blow that high, then go ahead and take the test when you get to jail. The reason for that is because there is a first offender DUI program and unless you’re reading is over a 0.15, you could wind up getting into the program. Ultimately the case will be dismissed.
When you get into multiple DUI’s and the time of enhancement starts expanding, then there are significant advantages if the driver does not take the test.
If a blood test comes into play, they can have it done at the jail or you are entitled to your own independent blood test on top of that if you so choose. If you ask for an independent blood test, they have to take you to get one.
The evidence is suppressed if it is wrongfully gathered or the evidence can’t be used in the manner, they want to use it. In both of the breathalyzer and blood test, it would not deal with the time but rather the circumstances under when the tests were administered. It is important to get a hold of all the camera footage if there is a bodycam or from a building.
Kentucky DUI Penalties
On the first offense, your license can be suspended. If there is a refusal to take the breathalyzer test when you get to jail, it can be suspended up to 6 months. If you refuse the test anytime, the refusal is grounds to suspend your license immediately. However, if you take the test, it could be a 30-day suspension. If you’ve had more than one offense, they require immediate suspension at the first appearance of court. Regardless if you’ve taken the test or not, just the fact that you’re charged with a second or more offenses is grounds for the court to suspend your license.
Fines and potential jail time do not come into play until you have finished the case. The fine range is $200-$500, a $365 service fee, plus court costs, plus alcohol treatment, and some counties are putting the breathalyzer on the car. The breathalyzer in the car is an ignition inner-lock device. If it senses any alcohol, the car will not start. You usually would have that on there for 6 months and if you don’t have any infractions then generally, you’ll be entitled to get your license back. Even on the first offense, you will be looking at around $800 in fines.
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), this becomes a much larger game. Even if a CDL operator is charged and convicted on a DUI, while operating their own car, it will ultimately suspend their CDL for a year. If you have to drive for a living, you won’t be working. Before you even get out of the car, you should be calling your attorney in this situation. The sooner they contact, the sooner the attorney can start on damage control.
Expungement for a DUI Charge
In Kentucky, a DUI can be expunged. This is the legal process for removing a charge from your record. Now to get a DUI removed from your record, there is a lookback period of 10 years. That’s 10 years going forward and it’s 10 years retroactive. So if you’ve had a DUI within the past 10 years, even if they told you it was a first offense and you’re getting the penalties for the first offense, if you get another one within those 10 years, you will be facing a second. If you would like more information you can listen to my podcast episode on Kentucky expungement law.
It is very important that your attorney knows what needs to be done. An experienced Louisville DUI attorney will know what will be in your best interest.
Tim’s office phone number is (502) 589-6916. You can learn more via TimDenisonLaw.com. Tim’s principal office is located at: 235 South 5th St., Third Floor, Louisville, KY 40202. The information from this podcast is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an attorney advertisement.