Lexington, KY DUI Defense Lawyer
Getting arrested and convicted of a DUI–a criminal charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance which can cause impairment–can be a costly experience and can wreck havoc on your personal and professional life with a lengthy driver’s license suspension and other penalties. In addition, you can be stuck with a criminal record that affects your ability to obtain an education, employment, a professional license, military service, or other important privileges and benefits. DUI charges can follow you for the rest of your life if they’re not handled properly.
Any arrest should be taken very seriously, and a DUI arrest is no different. In fact, the consequences of a DUI conviction can be even more severe in many ways than a conviction for other, more “serious” crimes. The law comes down extremely hard on Americans who drive under the influence. Fortunately, you have the right to be represented by an attorney for your DUI arrest. If you’re located in Fayette county, Lexington, KY DUI defense lawyer Todd W. Burris can help.
Kentucky DUI Laws
If the police pull you over and require you to take a breathalyzer test, you can be arrested for DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher. It is important to know that you can also be arrested for DUI with less than .08% BAC if there is other evidence that you were driving while intoxicated. It is equally important to understand that sometimes this “other evidence” is highly subjective and can and should be vigorously challenged by your criminal defense lawyer.
This “other evidence” can be related to drugs or alcohol (or lack thereof) found within your vehicle as well as the breathalyzer results themselves and how the test was performed. Depending on how the arrest itself occurred and how well it was documented, your attorney might be able to argue that the breathalyzer test was performed unfairly or that the arrest was unnecessary. Remember to say nothing at the scene of your arrest until you can speak to a lawyer. Finding a potential witness who saw your vehicle as it was pulled over can also be a huge asset during your case.
The penalties for drunk driving in Kentucky, even for a first offense, can be severe. Fines and court costs can run into several hundreds of dollars, and you can lose your driver’s license for anywhere from 30 to 120 days. The judge can also order you into treatment or to perform community labor; you can even be sentenced to anywhere from two to 30 days in jail. These penalties can also be doubled, with no chance for probation or a suspended sentence, if certain aggravating circumstances are present. These include:
- Testing with a BAC of .15% or higher
- Refusing to submit to a blood or breath test
- Driving greater than 30 miles per hour above the speed limit
- Driving the wrong way down a divided highway
- Driving with a child under 12 years old in the car
- Causing an accident that involves serious physical injury or death
How A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
In DUI cases, as in other criminal matters, it is the job of the Commonwealth to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes proving that you were under the influence of alcohol or another prohibited substance. This may be accomplished by showing that your blood alcohol content was .08% or higher, or through the introduction of other evidence showing you were under the influence. Either way, there are often defenses available to challenge the Commonwealth’s assertions.
As mentioned above, you may also have constitutional defenses regarding whether the police had sufficient cause to make the initial stop or require you to submit to a breath test. As an experienced former prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney, Lexington, KY DUI defense lawyer Todd Burris knows how to evaluate your case, challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence, and present you with the best defense available. Call our Lexington office at (859) 252-2222, or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced and dedicated Kentucky DUI attorney.