Kentucky is tied for 16th place for “States with the Worst Drivers” in a statistical report compiled by SmartAsset.com. One of the factors used to draw up the list was “DUI Arrests Per 1,000 Drivers.” This category showed Kentucky with 4.88 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers, down a bit from 5.02 arrests in 2019, when Kentucky ranked 14th in worst-driver states.

A DUI (driving under the influence) charge in Kentucky can lead to serious consequences. If a police officer views your driving as being erratic, he may pull you over and administer a breathalyzer test. If the test shows your BAC (blood alcohol content) to be 0.08% or higher, you’ll be arrested for DUI.

If you’re facing a DUI charge in Shepherdsville, Louisville, Mount Washington, Radcliff, or Jeffersontown, Kentucky, contact us at the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates. We will work to get you an acquittal, if possible, or to minimize the consequences you face.

We invite you to contact us via e-mail, schedule an appointment or call us today at (502) 509-1490 to get the advice and aggressive criminal defense you need and deserve.  At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates we bring more than 25 years of experience to your side of the equation, and work hard to achieve a much better outcome in your case than you can or will accomplish on your own.

DUI Charges in Kentucky

We already mentioned that an 0.08% BAC will automatically qualify you for a DUI arrest. If you’re under 21 years of age, however, that BAC limit is a mere 0.02%. For someone over 21 years of age, a test below 0.04% cannot be charged as a DUI, but a test between 0.04% and 0.08% can be charged as a DUI, depending on other circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Note that these tests must be administered within two hours of “cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle.” If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test (or another test such as a blood test), the state can suspend your license for refusing the test under Kentucky’s implied consent statute. At the same time, absent a test showing a qualifying BAC, it can be hard for prosecutors to convict you of a DUI, though you can still get a license suspension.

Also, note that you can receive a DUI charge and conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence of both illegal and prescribed drugs, or in combination together with alcohol.

Kentucky DUI Penalties

On July 1, 2020, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) established new license suspension times:

  • First Offense Within a 10-Year Period: Six-month driver’s license suspension, 90 days in an Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program, a fine of $200 to $500, jail time of 48 hours to 30 days.
  • Second Offense Within a 10-Year Period: 18-month license suspension, one year of a treatment program, $300 to $500 fine, seven days to six months in jail.
  • Third Offense Within a 10-Year Period: 36-month suspension, one year in a treatment program, fine of $500 to $1,000, 30 days to 12 months in jail.
  • Fourth Offense Within a 10-Year Period: Charge elevated to a felony, 60-month suspension, one year in a treatment program, fine to be determined by the court, 120-day minimum jail time.

You may choose to enroll in the Kentucky Ignition Interlock Program (KIIP), which restricts the use of your vehicle to you successfully passing an on-board breath test. Installation and successful use can lead to reduced driver license suspension periods: first offense down to four months, second to 12 months, third to 18 months, and fourth to 30 months.

Why You Need an Attorney

We have been defending fellow Kentuckians against DUI charges for years. We will work with you to develop the best possible defense strategy to exercise your rights and lessen your penalties, or better yet, obtain an acquittal.

The police can make several mistakes in the arresting process that can work in your favor. They can administer a faulty test or an untimely one, or they can violate your rights. They can also be unable to show a valid reason for pulling you over in the first place.


If you’re in or around Shepherdsville, or in Jefferson, Hardin, or Carroll counties and facing a DUI, contact the Law Offices of John Schmidt and Associates. We will work to defend you against your charges, protect your driving privileges, and help you move toward a more favorable future. Let’s get to work on your defense. Call our office today.