What Is a DUI Aggravator?

Kentucky law allows enhancement of a DUI charge if there are one one of 6 aggravators. If a person pleads or is found guilty of a DUI, their sentence is enhanced (made worse) if any of these aggravators exist. On a first offense, an aggravating circumstance mandates 4 days in jail. On subsequent offense, the aggravator doubles the minimum jail sentence.

The basic aggravators are listed in KRS 189A.010, as follows: (11)

  • (a) Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
  • (b) Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
  • (c) Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury as defined in KRS 500.080 ;
  • (d) Operating a motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is 0.15 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;
  • (e) Refusing to submit to any test or tests 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 subsection (1) of this section;  and
  • (f) Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old.

It should be noted, that if there is a death or serious physical injury as in subsection (c), most police and prosecutors will also file additional charges. These are often FELONY charges and require additional legal work. Additionally, KRS 189A.010(11)(e) should not apply if the person is charged with a first offense dui. This is because the first offense apply to those aggravators that occur while driving the vehicle.

Most importantly, an attorney can work to try to dismiss the aggravator when entering a plea and/or discuss alternatives to incarceration.

If you have been charged with DUI or any other motor vehicle offense, you should discuss your case with an experienced criminal/DUI defense attorney. For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 )581-MIKE.

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