Driving Crimes

No Insurance | Expired Registration

Kentucky, and most other states, require vehicles driven on the roads to have current registration and insurance. Registration is essentially the license plate on the vehicle. Kentucky plates have a sticker that is placed on the plate that shows the year the registration expires. There is a sheet of paper that comes with the registration that includes the vehicle information, owner, and insurance. If you get stopped by police for speeding, you must produce this paper so the police can see the information. If your registration or insurance is expired, you will receive a ticket and must appear before a judge. Having expired registration in Kentucky is up to a $250 fine.

In addition to having up to date registration, you also need vehicle insurance.  If you are stopped by police and do not have insurance, the the fine is at least $500 and no more than $1,000, AND up to 90 days in jail. These penalties apply to BOTH the vehicle owner and the vehicle driver.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

In Kentucky, drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs is called Driving Under the Influence or DUI. In other states, it can be called Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

A person (21 years old or older) who pleads guilty to a first time DUI charge can expect the following:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – this offense will be charged as a misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 2 to 30 days in jail and /or a fine of $200-$500, and a driver’s license suspension.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with aggravating circumstances – this offense will be charged as a Misdemeanor with penalties ranging from 4 days to 30 days in jail and /or a fine of $200-$500, and a driver’s license suspension.
    • Aggravating circumstances include: speeding 30 mph above limit, driving the wrong way on a limited access highway, causing an accident with serious injury or death, having a blood/breath alcohol content over 0.15, refusing to submit to a blood/breath/urine test, and having a child in the car under 12 years old.

If you are a driver under 21 years old the legal limit is 0.02 Blood Alcohol Content – BAC or above. This underage DUI carries a suspension from 30 days to 6 months. The fine is $100-500. Underage drivers are also required to attend mandatory alcohol or drug treatment. The underage DUI driver can also receive more serious punishment if aggravating circumstances exist such as hitting a person with their vehicle.

  • If the driver is under 18, they will have their license revoked until they turn 18 or for the normal period, whichever is longer.

If you are convicted of additional DUIs, then the punishment increases significantly.  This means that your fine is higher, you have more jail time, and your license is suspended longer.  For example, if you get a 2nd DUI, then your license is suspended for an entire year.

Besides the legal ramifications of an underage DUI, a conviction can cause issues with a person’s college and job opportunities. Some universities suspend students for breaking the law and a DUI can affect scholarships. A DUI conviction can also prevent a person from receiving certain job licenses or credentials.