There were more than 2,600 alcohol-related crashes in Kansas in 2012 leaving 1,622 people injured and 98 dead according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). To prevent these numbers from climbing, Kansas increased its DUI penalties and arrested more than 13,000 people for DUI in 2013. Thousands of those individuals were subsequently convicted, resulting in serious consequences.
First DUI Conviction Penalties in Kansas
In Kansas, drivers with blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher can be charged with DUI. If subsequently convicted, they must pay $500 to $1,000 in fines plus other fees, complete an alcohol education or treatment program at their expense, and perform 100 hours of community service or spend 48 hours in jail. Convicted Kansas DUI offenders also lose driving privileges for 30 days and face an additional 330 days of restricted driving.
Kansas enforces additional DUI conviction penalties that many other states do not. One affecting the entire family is that the vehicle the individual was driving may be impounded for as long as one year. In 2011, the state enacted legislation that required all drivers convicted of DUI to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles once driving privileges were reinstated.
Initial Kansas IID legislation included a 2015 sunset provision. However, the law helped decrease drunk driving fatalities by more than 30 percent, so the sunset was eliminated in 2014. This move led MADD to give Kansas a five-star rating for drunk driving prevention. Drunk drivers convicted of involuntary manslaughter also face stiffer penalties due to a 2001 law reclassifying criminal history to count prior DUI violations in other states as person felonies. Drivers in Kansas face serious penalties when getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Underage DUI in Kansas
Individuals younger than 21 are subject to harsher DUI laws because they are under age. In 2012, these drivers were responsible for 20 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Kansas according to Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. Kansas has a zero tolerance law stating that having a 0.02 percent BAC or higher while driving is a crime for anyone younger than 21.
If BAC measures 0.02 but less than 0.08 percent, an underage driver faces a 30-day license suspension and 330-day restricted driving period for an initial conviction. If BAC measures 0.08 percent or higher, the license will be suspended for one year. Minors may also be charged with minor in possession or providing alcohol to minors, each of which carries additional penalties.
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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.