Regardless of where you live, you should know the laws in your state of residence, and if you’re visiting an area of the country you’re not familiar with, it’s especially important to know the law before settling into that state.
Kentucky is known for having the most confusing alcohol-related laws in the entire country, and one reason for the confusion is that Kentucky has what are called “dry,” “wet” and “moist” counties. A “wet” county is one that allows the sale of liquor, wine and beer, and “dry” counties are those who prohibit the sale of spirits, wine and beer. And as you probably inferred, a “moist” county is one that allows some sales of liquor, beer and wine. Before spending time in any county in Kentucky, be sure to read a little about that county’s alcohol laws before heading out to have a drink or buy a bottle of wine for dinner. You just may have to drive a little farther than you originally planned.
Purchasing Alcoholic Beverages in Kentucky
From 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (in wet counties), Kentucky residents and guests may buy liquor, wine and beer in a grocery or liquor store, and there is no Sunday prohibition of alcohol sales. In the wet counties of Kentucky, bars must stop selling alcohol by 2:00, and everyone must be out of the bar at that time.
DUI Law in Kentucky
In Kentucky, the DUI law has what is called an “Illegal Per Se” provision which, in Latin, means (of or by itself). Drivers in Kentucky know it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, and the penalties for DUI are very stiff in the Bluegrass State.
The “Illegal Per Se” also means that prosecutors no longer have to prove defendants were impaired if they are being tried for the per se clause. The DUI law in Kentucky requires the BAC test be given within two hours of operation of the motor vehicle for results to be admitted into evidence in per se DUI cases.
If you get convicted of a DUI in Kentucky, you can expect the following for the first offense:
- Fine of $200-$500
- 2 to 30 Days in Jail (more if there are aggravating circumstances)
- 90 in an alcohol or substance abuse program
- 30 to 120 driver’s license suspension
- 48 hours-30 days of community service
For your second DUI conviction, you could face:
- $350-$500 fine (more if there are aggravating circumstances)
- 7 Days – 6 months in jail (more if there are aggravating circumstances)
- 1 Year of alcohol or substance abuse treatment
- 12 to 18 months driver’s license suspension
- 10 days-6 months of community service
If you are convicted three times within a ten-year period, you may face:
- $500-$1,000 fine (more if there are aggravating circumstances)
- 30 days-12 months in jail (more if there are aggravating circumstances)
- 1 year alcohol or substance abuse treatment
- 24-36 month driver’s license suspension
- 10 days-12 months of community service
For the fourth offense of DUI within a ten-month period, you may expect:
- Conviction of a Class D felony
- Minimum of 120 days in jail without probation
- 1 year of alcohol abuse or substance abuse treatment
- Driver’s license suspension of 60 months
If you get in trouble in Kentucky and find yourself facing serious penalties like those listed above, please contact a Kentucky criminal defense attorney.