What a DUI Could Really Cost You
When it comes to Kentucky DUI (Driving Under the Influence) laws and penalties every city, including Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Frankfort, follow the same basic outline of rules and punishments. Should an individual get pulled over, arrested, and charged for DUI, it is important to begin building a defense case as soon as possible to help avoid the many consequences of having a DUI conviction. The professional team at FightDUICharges.com can help individuals to get this process started.
Penalties Individuals Will Face for DUI in Kentucky
Every state follows the same basic law when it comes to DUI – individuals with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of above .08 percent is considered to be driving impaired. Even though the crime is the same across all states, the penalties issued for this type of crime varies greatly. All states will generally enforce a license suspension, fine, and possibly jail time. In the state of Kentucky, individuals who are charged and convicted of DUI will face the following penalties that will affect their lives:
- 2 to 30 Days in Jail
- Fines Between $200 and $500
- License Suspension of 30 to 120 Days
It is important to keep in mind the penalties outlined above are for first time KY DUI offenders, or those individuals who have no previous DUI convictions on their record. The penalties and fines for repeat offenders are much harsher, featuring longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions. The state of Kentucky has a lookback period of 5 years, which means if an individual receives a DUI charge within 10 years of their last one it will be considered a more serious second offense.
Paying for a DUI Charge Before Conviction
The fines assigned after a DUI conviction are not the only financial repercussions an individual will feel when dealing with a DUI charge – the cost can begin as soon as they are arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving. When an individual is arrested for DUI, their vehicle will be towed to an impound lot and stored until they can pick it up. Unless the officer allows someone to come get the vehicle, the individual will be responsible for the towing and storage fees, which can be between $100 and $1,000.
Should the circumstances of the situation or arrest call for the individual to be detained and booked into the local jail, he or she may need to pay bail money in order to be released. If the situation is considered to be aggravated, such as if a minor was present, if an accident occurred, or if the individual resisted arrest, bail can be set from anywhere between $500 and $50,000 and a percentage of this amount will need to be paid in order for the individual to get out of jail. More often than not, individuals will ask friends or family members to pay their bail or they will use the services of a bail bondsman to be released.
After being formally charged with Driving Under the Influence, the individual will receive a date and time to appear in court. More often than not, the individual will want to hire a DUI attorney to help defend them in court and possibly arrange a lighter sentence, especially if he or she is a first time offender. While all attorneys and law firms will charge different prices for services, a good DUI lawyer will usually charge anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000. Even before the individual has his or her first court date, expect to pay upwards of at least $2,000.
Paying for a DUI Charge After Conviction
Even with the individual’s and their lawyer’s best efforts, it is possible that they will be found guilty of Driving Under the Influence and be subjected to further financial problems. On top of the money they have already paid for towing and storage, bail, and hiring a lawyer, they will now need to pay fines and have to deal with their license being suspended. As mentioned earlier, first time offenders in the state of Kentucky will face a fine between $250 to $500 – second time offenders $350 to $500 and third time offenders will have to pay between $500 and $1,000.
While the amount of the monetary penalty will vary based on the number of previous offenses the individual has, it will also vary greatly between states. What many people do not realize is they are bound by the laws of the state where the crime occurs (and may still be liable for penalties and fines within their state of residence).
Changes in Car Insurance After a DUI Conviction
The fines issued after a Driving Under the Influence conviction are not the only financial hurdles an individual will need to overcome when they are found guilty. Many people forget that DUI is a driving related crime, which means it will appear on their driving record and be reported to the insurance company. Once the car insurance provider finds out about the DUI, it will raise the individual’s monthly rate for car insurance in order to cover the increased risk they pose.
The amount of the increase imposed by the car insurance company will vary greatly between insurance providers and will also vary between states. In the state of Kentucky, individuals can expect their monthly car insurance premiums to be increased by almost 86 percent, which averages out to an approximate $100 increase to their monthly bill. In the grand scheme of things, Kentucky insurance providers are considered to be harsher than average when penalizing those convicted of DUI.
Protecting Your Finances Against DUI
At the end of the day, individuals who are convicted of DUI could end up paying as much as $40,000 for this crime. This is a lot of money that many people in this day and age simply don’t have access to, making it easy to see how a DUI conviction can financially devastate someone. The best way to avoid having to deal with these financial implications is to not drink and drive. When you plan on having a night out and participating in drinking alcohol, make sure to have a designated sober driver, or plan to use public transportation such as a cab, city bus, or subway to get home safely and without incident.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.