In Kansas, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is against the law. Kansas DUI laws cover blood alcohol limits, testing procedures, and criminal and administrative penalties for driving while intoxicated. Read on to learn more.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits in Kansas
In Kansas, if a driver's BAC reaches 0.08% or higher, the person is driving while intoxicated. This is called a "per se" BAC limit DUI law which means that there no other evidence is needed to support a DUI conviction.
For drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 years old, the BAC limit is 0.02%. This is called a "zero tolerance law." The law is intended to curb and punish underage drinking and driving.
Kansas has what is known as an "implied consent" law which means that simply operating a motor vehicle in the state implies consent to a chemical testing for detection of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances. If testing is refused, the driver's license may be suspended.
Along with administrative penalties such as a license revocation or suspension, the criminal penalties for a DUI conviction in Kansas include:
First offense: Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
Second offense: Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $1,750 in fines.
Third offense: Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. It is a felony if the last offense occurred within the preceding 10 years.
Fourth offense: Felony punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
A conviction is considered a prior offense if it occurred after July 1, 2001. However, the court may still consider any prior convictions occurring over the driver's lifetime when determining the number and existence of prior convictions for penalty purposes.
Prison time may be enhanced by one month if a child under 14 years of age was in the car at the time of the offense. The above penalties may also be enhanced if the drunk driving results in an accident, property damage, or death.
Administrative Penalties and License Suspensions
A first time DUI offense may cause a driver's license to be suspended for 30 days, restricted driving privileges for up to 330 days, and the driver's vehicle to be impounded for up to 1 year.
A second, third, or fourth DUI offense may cause a driver's license to be suspended for one year. An alcohol or drug abuse treatment program must also be completed. The driver must also install and use an ignition interlock device for 1 year after the suspension period. An ignition interlock device requires that the driver blow into the device to test their BAC. If the BAC is above a certain level, the driver's car won't start. For a fourth DUI offense, the driver's license plate or temporary registration may be revoked for 1 year.
A fifth DUI offense may lead to permanent revocation of the driver's license.
Drivers of commercial vehicles are subject to a more stringent standard than normal drivers. The per se BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04% which means that a BAC of 0.04% is enough for a conviction and can result in a suspension or permanent revocation of a commercial driver's license.
Getting Legal Help
DUI laws can be confusing. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, you should consult with a Kansas DUI attorney who can help you get back into the driver's seat quickly.