Being pulled over and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Kentucky can be a scary experience even if you are an adult. If you are a young driver under the age of 21, however, it can be truly terrifying. From the initial stop to the time spent at the police station, every moment is more frightening and nerve-wracking than the last.
Of course, while you are being processed by law enforcement officials, you will probably begin wondering how your DUI charge will impact your life. Will you end up spending time in jail? Will you lose your license?
The answers to these questions and many more can be provided by an experienced DUI defense attorney – like those here at Suhre & Associates, LLC. Our skilled lawyers can provide you with the advice and guidance you need to make it through your DUI case with as little damage as possible. Call our Louisville, KY law office today to arrange a free consultation.
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How a Suhre & Associates, LLC Attorney Can Help You Fight Back Against Your DUI Charge
Our Louisville DUI lawyers believe that everyone is entitled to a vigorous legal defense. If you choose to hire a member of our team, you can expect us to help you fight back against your Under 21 DUI charge by:
Protecting Your Rights
When pulling you over and arresting you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, law enforcement officers must respect your constitutional rights. The same is true of any prosecuting attorneys who speak to you while you are in police custody. Despite these strict rules, however, violations still occur quite frequently.
When one of our experienced attorneys is sitting by your side, we will call out any infringements as they are happening. We will also go back and review the arrest report to make sure that proper procedures were followed and your rights were respected. If we spot any issues, we may be able to bring it to a judge and have some evidence, or even your entire case, thrown out.
Gathering Exculpatory Evidence
From dashcam videos to breathalyzer test results, law enforcement officials begin gathering evidence against you as soon as they pull you over. One of the best ways to fight back against their proof is to put together some exculpatory evidence of your own.
The attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC have worked on countless DUI cases over the years. As such, we know how to gather the proof you need to clear your name or minimize your punishment.
Representing You in Court
Many Under 21 DUI cases never reach the courtroom. Some reach their conclusion when an attorney negotiates an acceptable plea bargain with the prosecutor. Others are thrown out when lawyers find legal or due process issues with the prosecution’s case.
Of course, if your DUI does end up in court, you will need an experienced attorney to represent you. Luckily, our legal team is always on your side. With hundreds of cases under our belts, our skilled trial attorneys know exactly how to make a compelling case to just about any judge or jury.
If you would like to enjoy the many benefits of working with a Suhre & Associates, LLC DUI attorney, all you need to do is give us a call. We would be more than happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
How Age Impacts Kentucky DUI Laws
Kentucky law states that it is illegal to operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The permissible blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is the main difference between how this law is applied to drivers under 21 years of age and those above that milestone.
According to Section 189A.010(1)(a) of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, individuals older than 21 can be charged with a DUI if they are found to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher. For people who are younger than 21, the threshold is much lower. In Kentucky, young drivers with a BAC of 0.02 or higher may be charged with an Under 21 DUI.
If your young age has caused you to be charged with a DUI, please contact the Suhre & Associates, LLC legal team as soon as possible. We will review your case and advise you on the best steps to take to beat the charge or minimize your punishment.
Under 21 DUI Penalties in Kentucky
The punishment you receive for an Under 21 DUI conviction in Kentucky will largely depend on the amount of alcohol that was in your system at the time of your arrest.
If your BAC was between 0.02 and 0.08 your penalties could include:
- License suspension of between 30 days and 180 days
- A fine of up to $500, and/or
- Enrollment in one of Kentucky’s 90-day alcohol treatment programs.
If your BAC at the time of your arrest was 0.08 or greater, you will face the same penalties as any other first-time offenders. These punishments include:
- License suspension of between 30 days and 120 days
- A fine of up to $500
- Enrollment in one of Kentucky’s 90-day alcohol treatment programs
- Imprisonment of between 2 days and 30 days, and/or
- Community labor of between 2 days and 30 days.
If this is not your first DUI, your potential punishments will be even more severe. For instance, a second DUI conviction could see you spend up to six months in jail. Meanwhile, a third offense could result in imprisonment of up to 12 months.
How Aggravating Circumstances May Impact Your Kentucky DUI Punishment
Kentucky law states that certain aggravating circumstances will result in mandatory minimum jail sentences for DUI convictions.
The minimum terms are:
- First offense: 4 days in jail
- Second offense: 14 days in jail
- Third offense: 60 days in jail
- Fourth offense: 240 days in jail
The aggravating circumstances which could force you to spend time in jail include:
- Driving with a BAC of 0.15 or greater
- Driving more than 30 miles per hour above the speed limit
- Causing an accident which results in death or a serious physical injury
- Driving in the wrong direction
- Driving with a passenger who is younger than 12 years of age
- Refusing to submit to tests requested by law enforcement officers
The experienced Louisville criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC are well versed in every aspect of Kentucky DUI law. If you have been charged with a DUI and would like to minimize your chances of facing the penalties listed above, please give us a call. We will work diligently to defend you against your criminal charges.
Potential Defenses Against Your Kentucky DUI Charge
The fact that you have been charged with an Under 21 DUI does not have to mean that you will be convicted. With a well-planned defense, it may be possible to reduce your charge or have your case thrown out entirely.
The best strategy for you will, of course, depend on the specifics of your case. However, a sampling of some of the most effective DUI defenses that we have used over the years includes:
Illegal Traffic Stop
To pull you over on a public road or highway, law enforcement must have a valid reason – otherwise known as reasonable suspicion. Generally speaking, this means that they must have seen you blowing through a stop sign, running a red light, or driving erratically.
If the officer did not have a good reason to pull you over, our attorneys will argue that the stop was invalid. If the judge agrees with our assessment, any statements or test results gathered during the stop will almost certainly be disregarded. Your Under 21 DUI charge can be dismissed soon after.
Improper or Inaccurate Testing
In most DUI cases, the most important evidence the prosecution has is your failed blood or breathalyzer test. In some instances, however, it may be possible to have your test results thrown out.
Depending on the exact circumstances of your case, our lawyers may be able to argue that the officer who administered your test did not follow proper procedures. We may even be able to show that the testing machine was not calibrated correctly or that your blood test was contaminated. If our attempts to invalidate the results of your test are successful, your Under 21 DUI charge is likely to be dropped before too long.
If you are a diabetic, you may suffer from a common side-effect known as ketosis. This medical condition causes glucose to ferment in your liver, causing an alcohol smell on your breath. In some cases, this health issue may even cause you to fail a standard breathalyzer test without drinking as much as a single beer.
Our attorneys can bring your medical condition to the attention of the court. By showing the judge that it was a direct cause of your failed breathalyzer test, we may be able to have your case dismissed.
Your Louisville Underage DUI Defense Law Firm
The attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC have been representing the people of Louisville in their DUI cases for years. If you need us, we will be there for you, too. Just give us a call or contact us online to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.