Alcohol and driving don’t mix well. In 2017, the Kansas Department of Transportation reported 1,993 alcohol-related crashes. Eighty-one of those were fatal, and the majority of the drivers were college-aged men.
In addition to safety concerns, there are a number of very serious consequences for impaired driving in the state of Kansas. These include jailtime and hefty fines. If you’re an underage driver, you could be facing up to a year in jail, fines up to a few thousand dollars, and, among other consequences, having to install an ignition interlock device.
A note about ignition interlock devices
Oddly enough, certain non-alcoholic food and drink can contain enough trace alcohol to throw off your ignition interlock device. Here are a few unexpected items:
- Energy drinks
- Hand sanitizer
- Sugarless gum
- Ripe fruit
- Non-alcoholic beer
Considerations for DUI penalties
In Kansas, a number of factors are taken into consideration when determining the penalties for DUI. Some of these factors include:
- Age: Underage drivers must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02%.
- License type: Holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) convicted of a DUI will have their CDL suspended for at least a year for their first offense. Second offense, it’s gone for good.
- BAC: Anything over the legal limit of 0.08% and you’re facing some serious consequences.
- Passengers: If any passenger is under the age of 14 when you’re arrested for a DUI, you’re looking at an additional month of jail time.
- Priors: Finally, if you have any prior convictions on your record, the consequences of a DUI can be much more serious.
The penalties themselves
In order to understand the seriousness of DUIs in the state of Kansas, it’s important to understand the penalties. Each penalty depends on the seriousness of the offense (BAC, property damage, injury, etc.). Here is a brief summary of some Kansas DUI penalties:
- First offense: Up to six months jail time or 100 hours of community service; fines up to $1,000; 30 days driving suspension; vehicle can be impounded for one year
- Second offense: At least 90 days jail time; fines up to $1,500; after one-year driving suspension, your vehicle must be equipped with an ignition interlock device for an additional year
- Third offense: This is a felony on your record, and you can serve up to a year in jail
- Subsequent offenses: Following your fourth DUI offense, your driving privileges will be permanently revoked
It is also important to note that Kansas’s “implied consent” law requires you to take blood or breath test if pulled over for a DUI. Refusing the test could result in a one-year suspension of driving privileges and as much as four years of required ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
It’s easy to get carried away at a party or social gathering, but these DUI penalties can follow you around for the rest of your life. Think twice before getting behind the wheel. Even a short drive can have dire consequences.