Aggravating Factors for DUI
The new DUI law in Kentucky, effective October 1, 2000, establishes a list of six aggravating factors for DUI, which, if present, double the mandatory minimum jail sentence which must be imposed and which cannot be probated or conditionally discharged. Aggravating factors only act to enhance minimum jail sentences. Aggravating factors do not enhance fines, fees and license suspensions.
The aggravating factors are:
- Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
- Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
- Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury;
- Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is 0.150 or more as measured by a test or tests of a sample of the operator’s blood or breath taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation of the motor vehicle;
- Refusing to submit to any test of one’s blood, breath or urine requested by an officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of the DUI laws; (DUI 2nd and subsequent offenses)
- Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old.
Mandatory minimum jail sentences for a DUI with an aggravating factor are:
- First Offense: 4 days;
- Second Offense: 14 days;
- Third Offense: 60 days; and
- Fourth Offense: 240 days
The aggravating factors do not apply to under-21 DUIs. There is no prohibition on dismissal by the prosecution of the aggravated circumstance to avoid the minimum mandatory sentence. For a first offense, the aggravating factor must be present at the time of operation of the motor vehicle. This excludes imposition of the mandatory minimum jail sentence for refusals since refusals cannot occur at the time of operation of a motor vehicle.