In the state of Kentucky, getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. The gravity of the situation intensifies when a minor is present in the vehicle.
Kentucky has strict laws in place to deter individuals from driving under the influence with a minor passenger. Understanding these laws is the first step toward building a strong defense if you are facing DUI charges.
DUI with aggravating circumstances
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety outlines a list of aggravating circumstances that can enhance DUI penalties. Driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle is certainly among these circumstances. In such cases, the court may impose a mandatory minimum jail sentence, higher fines and an extended period of license suspension. A first-time DUI offense with aggravating circumstances could entail a fine of up to $500 and 30 days in prison, among other penalties.
Long-term consequences of a DUI
Apart from immediate penalties, a DUI conviction with a minor in the car can have lasting consequences. A conviction may make it difficult to secure employment, as employers often consider a DUI conviction when making hiring decisions. Additionally, the social stigma and strain on personal relationships can persist long after serving any imposed penalties.
The legal system aims to deter individuals from endangering young lives, emphasizing the gravity of the offense through fines, mandatory programs, community service and harsh jail sentences. Facing a DUI with aggravating circumstances can significantly affect your life in both the near term and far into the future, so it is important to spare no effort in defending yourself against such charges.