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What is a Kiddie DUI in KY?

A KIDDIE DUI in Kentucky is the separate code section of a DUI for persons under the age of 21.  Kentucky has enacted the equivalent of a zero tolerance law with respect to underage drivers operating a vehicle.  Northern Kentucky is no different than every other state in that teen drivers are arrested if there is suspected any amount of alcohol during operation. Zero tolerance is a bit of a misnomer.  KRS 189A.010 (f) is often referred to as a "Kiddie DUI."  The statute states:

A person shall not operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in this state: ... (f) Having an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more as measured by a scientifically reliable test or tests of a sample of the person's breath or blood taken within two (2) hours of cessation of operation or physical control of a motor vehicle, if the person is under the age of twenty-one (21).

A Kiddie DUI will still lead to license suspension, fines, mandatory costs and alcohol evaluation and classes.  It will also likely significantly raise your insurance premiums.  The difference is that the fines are less, the classes different and a conviction under 189A.010(f) is not enhanceable as are all other DUI convictions. If the breath alcohol is over .08 or if the driver is deemed to be impaired by the officer, the teen driver can and will likely be prosecuted as a normal/adult DUI. There is no special treatment if the teen is under 18, they still proceed to adult court and not juvenile court.  Similarly, if the breath alcohol is over .15, this is an "aggravated" DUI which can mandate incarceration and harsher penalties.   The BAC, or blood alcohol content, can be measured by a breath, blood or urine test.  If the officer suspects illegal substances, they will likely request a blood test instead of breathalyzer. If you have been charged with a DUI, whether you are under 21 or over, you should hire an attorney.  In Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, call Michael W. Bouldin for a consultation.  Email at [email protected] or call at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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