What is a DWI / DUI?

The abbreviations DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) refer to an individual driving under the influence of alcohol or any substance(s) which impair driving ability​. Other substances can include illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and/or inhalants such as glue, gasoline, spray paint, etc.


DUI Penalties

Changes to Suspension Times

DUI suspension periods have changed. Before SB 85, courts selected the suspension time from a date range based on the offense. As of July 1, 2020, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will administer a static suspension time based on the type of conviction. The new suspension times are as follows:​​

1st Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • 90 Days of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program
  • 6 month License Suspension

2nd Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • one (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
  • 18 Month License Suspension

3rd Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • one (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
  • 36 Month License Suspension

4th Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • one (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
  • 60 Month License Suspension​

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

Any commercial driver convicted of a DUI in any type of motor vehicle will be suspended for one (1) year. The driver will be required to pay a $50.00 reinstatement fee and pass the written and vision tests before starting over with a permit. After holding a valid commercial learner's permit for fourteen (14) days, the driver will be required to pass all applicable skills tests prior to obtaining a commercial license.​

License Suspension for Refusal to Take Alcohol or Subsequent Tests

If the court finds that the person did refuse to submit to the testing, the court shall suspend the person's driver's license for the period of time the license would have been suspended upon conviction (see above suspension times). ​


Approved Alcohol Treatment Programs
To see a list of treatment programs, visit the Program Directory. The Division of Driver Licensing will only accept completions from programs authorized for DUI treatment. The driver should select Driving Under the Influence from Other Providers in the left navigation menu. 

For DUI courses in other states, contact the Division of Driver Licensing at (502) 564-1257.

 Note: Online DUI courses or programs will not be accepted.
Introduction of the Kentucky Ignition Interlock Program (KIIP)

If the individual decides to enroll in the KIIP, they are eligible for a reduction of their suspension period. An ignition interlock license will restrict the individual to operating only a motor vehicle or motorcycle equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device. To qualify for the suspension reduction program; participants must be violation-free for either 90 or 120 consecutive days, based on their offense. Suspension times can be reduced to as little as:​

1st Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • 90 Days of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Program
  • 90 Days of Violation-Free KIIP participation
  • 4 month License Suspension

2nd Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • one (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment
  • 120 Days of Violation-Free KIIP Participation​
  • 12 Month License Suspension

3rd Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • one (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment 
  • 120 Days of Violation-Free KIIP Participation​
  • 18 Month License Suspension

4th Offense Within a 10 Year Period

  • one (1) Year of Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment 
  • 120 Days of Violation-Free KIIP Participation​
  • 30 Month License Suspension​

KIIP Violations

The following are violations and commission of any will result in a stoppage in the consecutive day requirement:

  1. Failure to take any random breath alcohol test unless a review of the digital image confirms that the motor vehicle or motorcycle was not occupied by a driver at the time of the missed test.
  2. Failure to pass any random retest with a breath alcohol level of 0.02 or lower unless a subsequent test performed within 10 minutes registers a breath alcohol concentration lower 
  3. Failure of the person, of his or her designee, to appear at the ignition interlock device provider when required for maintenance, repair, calibration, monitoring, inspection, or replacement of the device​
  4. Failure to pay statutorily required fees (KRS 189A.340)
  5. Tampering with an installed ignition interlock device with the intent of rendering it defective
  6. Altering, concealing, hiding, or attempting to alter, conceal, or hide, the person’s identity from the ignition interlock device’s camera while providing a breath sample


  Note: For more information on the Kentucky Ignition Interlock Program visit: KIIP​
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