DWI Penalties

There can be some very severe penalties for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  The penalties only become worse if you have prior convictions for driving while intoxicated.  These penalties can be enhanced  if there are any aggravating circumstance present such as refusal to take a chemical test, driving while intoxicated while speeding over a posted speed limit, an alcohol level that is 2 to 3 times more than the blood alcohol content of 0.08%, or causing an accident while you are driving while intoxicated that causes serious injury or death.

Depending upon the state you are in you can be penalized in many ways including jail time, fines, license suspension, having your vehicle impounded, having an Interlock ignition device placed on your vehicle, or attending mandatory DWI classes or alcohol and drug counseling.

Below is a sample table of what a DWI conviction can mean for you if you live in the State of Kentucky:

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense

Jail Time

2-30 days 7 days to 6 months 30 days to 12 months

Fines and Penalties

$200-$500, 90 days of alcohol and substance abuse counseling $350-$500, 1 year of alcohol and substance abuse counseling, 10 days to 6 months of community labor

$500 – $1000, 1 year of alcohol and substance abuse counseling,10 days to 12 months community labor

License Suspension

30 to 120 days 12 to 18 months

24 to 36 months

IID (Interlocking Ignition Device) Required






Speed Limit – Driving 30 MPH over Limit

Driving the Wrong Way on Limited Access Highway

Causing an Accident that Results in Injury or Death

Alcohol Level is .18 or Above

DWI Test Refusal

Passengers Under the Age of 12

Prior DWI’s are relevant for 5 years


Under 21


21 or older




** BAC = blood alcohol content


Kentucky has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension.

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

Minimum 30 day license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Minimum 1 year license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled. Minimum 2 years license revocation. If convicted of DUI after refusing to take test, jail penalty is doubled.

Source: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet/www.transportation.ky.gov

The above is simply a sample of what you may be facing depending upon where you were arrested. After you are convicted, criminal penalties will follow.  There will be other consequences as well.  You will miss work because of incarceration or your inability to operate a motor vehicle.  You could lose your job which would take away your ability to provide for yourself and your family.  Your insurance premiums will skyrocket and may become non-renewable.  You will also have to provide your conviction information to employers.

No matter what state you are in trying to defend yourself in these situations can do more harm than good.  DWILawyers.com can help you find an attorney to help you when you have been arrested for a DWI.  At DWILawyers.com you can fill out our easy form for a free consultation with an attorney in your area.  Visit www.dwilawyers.com and set up a consultation.