The basics of a driving under the influence charge in Kentucky are straightforward. Someone who displays signs of chemical impairment at the wheel may face DUI charges, as well anyone who fails a chemical breath test by having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over the legal limit given their age and the type of license that they have.
Your previous driving record and several other factors will influence what charges the state brings against you and what penalties a judge may decide on during sentencing. If you face aggravated DUI charges, the penalties could be more serious than in standard DUI cases. What are the six kinds of aggravating circumstances for Kentucky DUI offenses?
Speeding while under the influence
Alcohol affects your reaction time and your decision-making abilities. If you have had too much to drink, you might make other bad choices at the wheel like going far over the posted speed limit. If someone gets arrested for a DUI and they drove 30 miles an hour or more over the speed limit, they could face aggravated DUI charges.
Driving with a youthful passenger
A drunk driver creates substantially higher risks for anyone in their vehicle. Adults often make their own choice to gamble with their safety by getting in the car with someone who has had too much to drink. Children don’t always have the option of refusing to travel with an intoxicated adult. Drivers with passengers age 12 or younger could face aggravated DUIs because of the youthful occupants of their vehicles.
Driving the wrong way
If you make a wrong turn while under the influence, that alone could lead to aggravated charges. If police officers stop you or find video footage of you driving the wrong way on a limited access highway while under the influence of alcohol, that will also likely read to aggravated charges.
Causing an injury or death
When someone gets behind the wheel and drives drunk, they take significant personal risks and put others at risk without their consent. If a drunk driver causes a crash that injures or kills another person, that will lead to aggravated charges.
When they have a very high BAC
The higher someone’s BAC is at the time of their arrest, the more likely the state is to seek enhanced penalties for those charges. Drivers with a BAC of 0.015 or higher, which is nearly twice the legal limit, likely will face aggravated DUI charges.
When they refuse testing
If a driver argues with police about performing a chemical test and then later turns out to have been under the influence, that can aggravate the charges again, as well as put them at risk of secondary charges implied consent law.