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Category: DUI

DUI with Marijuana in KY

Posted on June 8, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Kentucky does not have a per se limit for marijuana.  Since marijuana is illegal in Kentucky, some prosecutors (and a few judges) believe that you are impaired with ANY marijuana in your system.  Other prosecutors (and most judges/juries) believe that the amount is irrelevant without an expert to help translate an amount to impairment.  In either case, the prosecution in Kentucky must prove that the driver is “impaired in their ability to operate the motor vehicle” as a result of the drugs and/or alcohol combination.

Some states such as Ohio have a per se limit with marijuana in your blood system which is similar to that of alcohol.  For example, if you have over 2 nanograms/milliliter of marijuana in your blood stream, then you can be convicted of operating while impaired (OVI=DUI in Ohio).

The Ohio threshold for drugged driving is illustrated in the following table. Ohio’s DUI Per Se Levels pursuant to ORC§ 4511.19(A)(1)(vii) and § 4511.19(A)(1)(viii)(I)-(II).

Prohibited Substance Urine Blood
Marijuana 10 ng/ml 2 ng/ml
Marijuana metabolite 35 ng/ml 50 ng/ml
Marijuana metabolite in combination with alcohol or other drugs 15 ng/ml 5 ng/ml

Affirmative Defense

It is a valid defense if a person obtained the controlled substance pursuant to a prescription issued by a licensed health professional authorized to prescribe drugs, and the person injected, ingested, or inhaled the controlled substance in accordance with the health professional’s directions. Id. § 4511.19(K)(1)-(2).

NOTE: A doctor’s recommendation to use cannabis is NOT a prescription.

My experience shows that any smoking within the last 24 hours will likely put the person over the Ohio limit, regardless of actual impairment.  As such, best legal advise would be to refuse a request for blood or urine test if you have ingested marijuana within 24 hours.  In Kentucky, the decision is more difficult.  If you know you have marijuana in your system, a breath test will not show the substance.  A blood test, however, will show marijuana in your system.

The problem is what works best.  If you have also been drinking and smoking, best legal advice is generally to refuse a blood test.  If you HAVE NOT ADMITTED TO RECENT SMOKING, generally it is advisable to submit to the test.  In either case, if you test positive or if you refuse, you should expect that the prosecutor will not amend the charges.  You should plan to take your case to trial, whether before a judge or jury.  

As such, you should hire an experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney who has trial experience with both judges and juries.  There are certain judges you should avoid and others who may be preferable to a jury.  For representation in Kenton, Campbell, Boone or Hamilton counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Memorial Day DUI

Posted on May 27, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

This Memorial Day will be especially busy for police throughout the city, county and state.  1) Memorial Day is the first major summer holiday.  2) Memorial Day happens to fall on the last weekend of the month.

Kentucky State Police are positioned to write a record number of citations this weekend.  Whether because of the holiday, last day of the month or a major bonus, the KSP is out in record numbers.  Just today I personally witnessed 7 KSP patrol vehicles on the stretch of I-71 between Louisville and Cincinnati.  Police were shooting radar and looking for suspicious vehicles.

Kentucky DUI law now allows look back 10 years for prior offenses.  If you have had a DUI in the last 10 years, you would be subject to the penalties of 2nd offense DUI.  Note: this recently changed as it was formerly a 5 year look back.  DUI penalties for first (1st) offense range from 30-120 day license suspension, $200-500 fine, DUI service fee, court costs, and 2-30 days of incarceration.  These fines and cost total over $720 to the court, in addition to about $350 in assessment and classes; not to mention insurance rate increases.

Incarceration of 4 days is mandatory in cases where an aggravating circumstance exists on 1st offense and doubles the jail minimum on subsequent offense. Aggravating circumstances include: wrong way on highway, speeding over 30 mph over posted limit, accident with serious injuries, having child under 12 in the vehicle, breath/blood alcohol over .15 or refusal of breath/blood test.

Also remember, second offense penalties include minimum license suspension of 12 months and jail of 7 days.  The new law does allow for ignition interlock.  This process can be daunting and expensive. Use an attorney who has handled both pretrial and post-conviction ignition interlock for clients in order to answer questions and help guide you through the process.

If you are arrested for DUI, contact an attorney.  For representation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE or contact the office at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.

10 Year Lookback for KY DUI under New Law

Posted on April 21, 2016 in DUI State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Kentucky passed SB 56 this month which modified the lookback period for second and subsequent DUI convictions from 5 years to 10 years.  This may significantly alter the status of those previously convicted of DUI.

The new law was signed by Governor Bevin on 4/9/2016 changing KRS 189A.010 in pertinent part from 5 to 10 years DUI for offenses.  Whereas attorneys have traditionally advised that Kentucky has a five (5) year lookback in which if you are convicted a second offense the fines and jail increase substantially, now that has changed to a ten (10) year period.

If you have been previously convicted of a DUI, your chances of being charged with a second offense have significantly increased.  There remains to be seen constitutional and retroactive challenges regarding this issue.  For example: what if you were advised on your first offense of a 5 year lookback and now, 7 years later they are charging you with a second offense?

This new law also brings the advice to not simple plead guilty because “it is easier.”  If you have a valid legal defense, you should assert your rights. This new 10 year lookback makes it much more likely that an individual convicted of a first offense will obtain a second charge at some point in the future.

If you have been charged with DUI, contact an attorney. For representation in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.


DUI 2nd Penalties in KY

Posted on March 29, 2016 in DUI

What are the penalties for DUI 2nd offense in Kentucky?  Often asked question, especially by those following arrest and facing conviction for a second time within five years.

The penalties for DUI kick in if there is a second conviction within a 5 year period.  This 5 year period is determined from the date of offense to the date of the subsequent offense.  There is no regard given to the date of conviction.

The penalties for Second Offense DUI in Kentucky are:

(1) Penalties – $350 to $500 fine and 7 days to 6 months jail. Court may order 10 days to 6 months community labor. Must serve minimum of jail and/or community labor. If aggravating circumstance present, mandatory minimum term of imprisonment shall be 14 days.
(2) Costs and Fees – Court Costs, DUI Service Fee, Treatment Program Fee, County Fees, State Fees.
(3) Alcohol or Substance Abuse Treatment Program – 1 year.
(4) License Revoked – 12 – 18 months (or if Defendant is under 18, until Defendant reaches age 18, whichever is longer).
(5) Ignition Interlock – mandatory ignition interlock license/device for a period of twelve (12) months.  License plate impoundment if ignition interlock license requirements are not met.

If you have been charged with DUI, whether first, second, third or more offenses, you should seek the advise of an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly handles cases in your area.  For consultation and representation regarding cases in Northern Kentucky, call attorney Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE.  Email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 to schedule an appointment.

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KY DUI Ignition Interlock

Posted on March 25, 2016 in DUI

Newly available to Kentucky DUI Defendants – Ignition Interlock on vehicle.  Many see this as another way for various entities to make money, others as additional intrusion on rights and hardening of DUI penalties, while it is best seen as a viable alternative to losing all driving privileges.

Ignition Interlock devises have been around for a number of years and have been successfully utilized in many other states such as Ohio.  An ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID and BAIID) is a breathalyzer for an individual’s vehicle. It requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting the vehicle.  It may also require random tests to assure that the driver does not have alcohol in their breath.

Kentucky law now allows for ignition interlock device (IID) and special ignition interlock license (IIL) under a number of circumstances.  The IID and IIL may be available for pretrial suspension periods, post conviction or post acquittal.  Having an attorney who regularly handles DUI defense is advisable and attorney can guide you through the process AND advise whether the IID is right for your case.

The process of obtaining an IID and IIL is rather cumbersome.

  1. You must file a Petition (insurance) in District Court and the Judge must approve the petition.
  2. The Petition is taken or sent to DOT, where you fill out an application ($, registration & insurance).  If approved,
  3. You then contact approved provider for installation ($ & proof of approval)
  4. They will guide you to approved installer in your area ($ & proof of approval).  After installation, they will provider certificate of installation.
  5. Certificate will allow you to return to Clerk for special Ignition Interlock License. ($ & certificate)

Ignition Interlock is not intended to replace right to privileges for work, education, treatment and medical which is still available after 30 day hard suspension.  In certain cases, the cost of IID and IIL will outweigh the benefits and defendant may be better off with friends, family, taxi cabs, and Uber as other alternatives.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an attorney for best defense.  For representation regarding DUI defense, and with knowledge of ignition interlock in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com .


Ft. Thomas Heroin Arrests

Posted on February 26, 2016 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

Ft. Thomas has begun to take proactive steps to increase arrests in attempt to decrease heroin use and abuse in Northern Kentucky.  WCPO reported on the initial arrest of a 28-year-old Cincinnati woman and confiscated eight ounces of heroin, eight ounces of crack, a loaded 9 millimeter handgun and $3,000 in cash. Local 12 had the exclusive picture.

Again on February 22, 2016 a driving fatality is linked to heroin use while operating a vehicle.  This was reported by the Enquirer and was the latest possible case of “drugged driving” in Northern Kentucky resulted in a single-car crash that killed one person, ejected and critically injured a 7-month-old and injured two others Monday afternoon.

While toxicology reports are not yet in, Fort Thomas police said they found syringes in the vehicle. In the midst of a heroin epidemic, neither law enforcement nor medical caregivers are surprised.

The crash on eastbound Interstate 275 in Fort Thomas near the Ohio border occurred around 2:30 p.m. The vehicle involved rolled multiple times and tied up traffic in the region for more than four hours as officials removed the unidentified, deceased male and investigate.

A number of additional arrests have been made by Ft. Thomas Police in Campbell County.

Any criminal defendant arrested should be seeking the best criminal representation.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm and schedule to meet with Michael Bouldin.  Contact at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453.



Don’t Start the New Year with a DUI?

Posted on December 29, 2015 in DUI

Want to end 2015 on a bad note?  Start 2016 off terribly?  If so, start drinking early and wake up in jail with a DUI arrest for the New Year.  Every year law enforcement is out in bigger numbers to stop DUI beginning on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day.  The new year revelry often includes alcohol and then the prospect of getting home.

It is advisable to get alternative transportation, a taxi cab, Uber or other ride from a sober driver, if you have been drinking alcohol on this, or any other night.  A DUI can cost over $10,000 if convicted.  Even an acquittal is likely to cost $2,000-3,000.  The big advantage of an acquittal is that your automobile insurance will not go through the roof – a reality that is likely to continue for 3-5 years.  A conviction in Kentucky will cost nearly $1,000 in court costs and fines, $300 in court ordered counseling classes, license reinstatement fees in addition to loss of license for four (4) months.

An experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process, advising of what are good issues to take to trial and when a deal is better to be struck.  Very few attorneys will tell you it is as simple as pleading guilty.  While that may actually be advantageous at some point, it is difficult to know until discovery is complete, knowing what issues may be available for suppression of evidence, if a video is favorable, or if blood or urine test may help your case.

Drinking alcohol and driving is not necessarily a crime.  Know your rights by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your county of arrest.

If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a lawyer. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  Call 581-MIKE.


Thanksgiving Weekend DUI

Posted on November 25, 2015 in DUI

Thanksgiving weekend is the number one (#1) weekend for DUI arrests in the United States.  Many of these come from college students returning home for the first time since going away.  The freedom and use of alcohol is combined with driving to visit old friends. Most of these occur on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Friday following, as they are two of the biggest bar/drinking nights of the year.  Others may come from having too much wine and turkey while trying to liven up conversation with extended family.  Whatever the reason, this late weekend in November provides for many DUI and OVI arrests.

As always, best advise is to avoid driving a motor vehicle if you have been drinking alcohol.  If you are stopped for suspected DUI, make sure that a video is working prior to preforming field sobriety tests.  The officer’s recollection of the acts is much less reliable than a video camera with audio.  If a breathalyzer is offered, it is your decision whether or not to comply.  Refusal can be used against you and can cause license suspension.  That said, new laws allow for ignition interlock so that you can continue to drive even if you refuse the breathalyzer.

If you are arrested, contact an attorney for legal representation.  I recommend an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in the county of arrest.  The attorney will know the lay of the land, who to discuss and the general tendencies of the prosecutors and judges in that county.

For representation in Hamilton County, OH, or Campbell, Kenton or Boone counties in Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  During weekend and after hours, email is the best way to reach counsel.


To Blow or Not To Blow?

Posted on October 20, 2015 in DUI General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

That is the question. . . most often asked to a criminal defense and DUI attorney.

Once an individual has been arrested for suspected DUI, DWI or OVI, they are almost always read their rights, implied consent warning and asked to submit to a sample of breath (breathalyzer) or blood test.  While some attorneys advise to always refuse a breathalyzer, I do not agree that the answer is that simple.

One problem is that if you refuse to take the breathalyzer in Kentucky, the Court will suspend your license for 120 days.  This can continue regardless of whether you are convicted or acquitted of the underlying DUI. This is an administrative suspension based solely on the refusal of the breathalyzer or other alcohol test. Another consideration is that the refusal can be used against you in a trial as indicia of impairment.

If a driver has actually consumed only a small amount of alcohol, the breathalyzer may actually benefit him/her in proving that the alcohol concentration was under the legal limit.  An individual with an alcohol concentration of less than .05 is presumed to not be under the influence. There are complex formulas to determine what a blood alcohol level may be and they are based on the person’s sex, weight, amount of alcohol consumed and length of time during consumption. The following link is interesting and fairly accurate in predicting what a blood alcohol level may be. Additionally, the food that the person has ingested will affect the blood alcohol level.

The defendant should also be aware that if you blow over a .15, then the case is considered aggravated, which mandates jail time even for a first offense. A refusal is considered an aggravator for second or subsequent offenses, but not for first offense DUI. Therefore, if a driver has consumed large amounts of alcohol and does not have a prior DUI conviction, it is suggested to refuse the breathalyzer.

The police in Kentucky may request either a breath test, blood test or urine test. The breathalyzer is requested most often because of its ease of use, time required to take the test and number of people necessary to have the results entered as evidence in a trial. The police will generally only request a blood test if the driver is suspected of using other drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Defendants should be aware that they have the right to a second test of their choosing once they submit to the test requested by the police officer.  I often suggest that if you blow over the limit on a breathalyzer to request a blood test be taken. This is at your expense and is generally done at a local hospital.

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you should contact an attorney before next appearing in court. Whether you have submitted to a breathalyzer or refused to consent to a breathalyzer, an attorney can assist you through the legal process. In certain cases, a defendant can be acquitted regardless of the breathalyzer result or the refusal. If you have questions or concerns, contact Michael Bouldin for a consultation at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mike@nky-criminal-defense-lawyer.com .



What is Cost of DUI in Kentucky?

Posted on September 2, 2015 in DUI

The real cost of a DUI varies by the individual, the county and the charges for legal services.  The real cost is also highly contingent on whether you are convicted or acquitted of the charges.

If convicted, the mandatory DUI fine from the court is $200-500 for a first offense.  This is very misleading and is not reality.  A conviction brings a $200-500 fine, plus a DUI service fee of $250, plus court costs of about $153, plus other costs associated with the court.  If convicted, you will pay the court between $720-850, depending on your county of conviction.  Additionally, you will be mandated to undergo a DUI assessment and follow any recommendations for treatment.  The DUI assessment is generally $60 and you will be mandated to attend a minimum of 20 hour class, which generally cost $210.  License reinstatement in Kentucky is $40.

Your insurance will increase if you are convicted of a DUI offense.  Generally, your rates will double for a first offense DUI.  This will remain in place for 2-3 years, and a DUI stays on your record for 5 years in Kentucky.  This generally equates to approximately $2,000/year for an average driver; more for a teen or younger person.

Legal fees vary greatly.  Generally an attorney charging under $1,000 either will have very little experience or has no intention of taking the case to trial.  An experienced attorney knows that if you are charged in Boone, Campbell or Kenton counties, there is almost no chance in a reduction of the charges without a trial or suppression hearing.  You may hire an attorney to get you a ‘better deal’ for less than $1,000, but the best deals generally come if the prosecution believes they will not prevail at trial.

Legal fees vary based on the complexity of the case, number of court appearances, discovery, number of hearings, suppression issues, whether a bench (judge) or jury trial and length of trial.  Most attorneys will give you an estimate and have you sign a fee agreement/contract outlining all charges.

For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm and speak with Michael Bouldin.  Contact Michael at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.