Hardcore drunk drivers can be defined as individuals who drive with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or above, who do so repeatedly, as demonstrated by having more than one drunk driving arrest, and who are highly resistant to changing their behavior despite previous sanctions, treatment, or education efforts.
Listed below are the terms most closely matching the definition above which could be used in Kentucky to identify these offenders:
Multiple offenders are defined in statute by 2nd, 3rd or subsequent offense within 5 years.
DUI becomes a felony on the 4th offense.
Records on repeat offenses are one of the primary means of tracking the problem of hardcore drunk drivers.
The following are key aspects of Kentucky records:
New licensees are reviewed for outstanding suspensions/revocations in other states before a license is granted, and DUI convictions from other states are considered prior offenses in Kentucky within the limits of the law.
The approximate number of licensed drivers is 2.6 million.
The average BAC level of offenders arrested ranges from .14 to .16.
Kentucky keeps statistics on multiple offenders based on convictions. According to the most recent information available, in 1996 there were 11,610 offenders arrested for 2nd and subsequent DUI offenses. Of those 9,552 were convicted of 2nd and subsequent DUIs.
IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT
Identifying those drivers who are likely to repeatedly drive drunk and assessing the nature of their underlying problems is essential in order to keep hardcore offenders off the road.
In Kentucky identification of multiple offenders in Kentucky occurs most frequently at time of arrest.
In Kentucky offenders with a high BAC at the time of arrest are treated as follows:
— All offenders are treated the same regardless of BAC.
In Kentucky following conviction, offenders, as shown, receive a mandatory assessment/evaluation to determine the nature and extent of their alcohol problem:
— All offenders.
In Kentucky the assessment is conducted post-sentencing and the individual does not return to court for final sentencing based on the assessment.
In Kentucky assessments are conducted by a facility which is licensed, regulated and monitored by the Cabinet for Human Resources. The cost will vary up to $150 and is usually borne by the offender.
Treatment and rehabilitation programs play an important role in reducing hardcore drunk driving.
In Kentucky results of the assessment are provided to the judge/administrator presiding over the case. The offender is referred to treatment on the basis of the assessment by order of the court and must send a certificate of enrollment to the court within 5 days. Upon completion of program, the offender must notify the court.
In Kentucky treatment is mandated for multiple offenders under the following circumstances: Offenders are required to attend education or treatment as recommended by the assessment and ordered by the court.
In Kentucky offenders failing to comply with the terms of their program are not eligible for license reinstatement and may be returned to the court for further action (may be held in contempt).
In Kentucky the following treatment facility or program specifically targets the hardcore drunk driver: None.
While law enforcement works against drunk driving across the board, it is central in the battle against hardcore drunk drivers.
The following enforcement techniques are used in Kentucky to detect and apprehend drunk drivers:
Sobriety Checkpoints, Blanket Patrols, Media Blitzes with Enforcement Campaigns, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, PAO Programs, Mobile Video-taping.
PROSECUTION AND SENTENCING PRACTICES
A number of factors influence the sentence a drunk driver receives.
In Kentucky there is no Anti-Plea Bargaining Statute for DUI.
In Kentucky the period of time in which a judge or administrator can review an offender’s record (the “look-back” period) is 5 years.
In Kentucky at the time of sentencing an individual’s arrest and conviction records are available for consideration by the court. This information can include his or her entire criminal record or only their drunk driving conviction record depending on the court.
In Kentucky there are graduated penalties for DUI based on number of offenses.
Sanctions against the offender may be derived from criminal action, i.e. court-ordered, or administrative action by the licensing authority as a condition of license reinstatement. Many are aimed at preventing or limiting the opportunity of the hardcore offender to drink and drive. The purpose of others is rehabilitation.
In the State of Kentucky, the following sanctions may only be ordered by the court:
Fines: $200 to $10,000 with no mandatory minimums.
Incarceration - Mandatory minimums: 2nd offense - 7 days; 3rd offense - 30 days; 4th or subsequent - 120 days.
Community Service: 2nd offense - 10 days to 6 months, 3rd and subsequent offenses - 10 days to 12 months (may serve in addition to other sanctions imposed).
Home Confinement with Electronic Monitoring: Allowed by statute for misdemeanor offenses only.
Intensive Supervision Probation: At the discretion of the court.
Action Against Offender’s Vehicle - Vehicle Immobilization, Vehicle Impoundment, Vehicle Forfeiture, Registration Cancellation/Plate Seizure: None.
Victim Impact Panel: None.
Other Special Assessments/Surcharges: Victim’s Restitution Fund, Service fee of $150.
The following sanctions may be ordered by the court or by the licensing authority:
— Suspension/Revocation: Kentucky has both pre-conviction and post-conviction court-ordered beginning with the 1st offense. Reinstatement Fee: $40.
— Conditional Licensing: At the discretion of the court, for 1st offenders only.
— Alcohol Ignition Interlock: None.
— Autotimer, Fuel Lock, Special Plate Markings, Registration Cancellation/Plate Seizure: None.
— Education/Treatment: Mandatory 90 day education or treatment program for 1st offenders; all multiple offenders must be sentenced to an alcohol treatment program for 1 year. Cost: Information Not Available. Cost depends on the program.
— Intensive Weekend Intervention: None.