Kansas sets its DUI level at 0.08 percent for blood alcohol content. After this point an individual may be arrested for driving under the influence or for driving while intoxicated. Upon an arrest an individual will often submit to field sobriety testing and have his or her physical appearance, driving patterns, performance, and statement recorded by the police.
Individuals may refuse to take chemical tests but will subsequently have their driver’s licenses suspended. Failing a chemical test will also result in driver’s license suspension. Every suspension depends on the case and usually can range from a suspension for thirty days to a suspension for one year.
Within ten days of an arrest, an individual may request an administrative hearing with the Kansas Department of Revenue to contest a driver’s license suspension. In these cases a suspension can be halted until the hearing has closed and a verdict made.
An individual may be charged with drunk driving under different laws. The first is driving under the influence charges where the prosecuting attorney will need to show sufficient evidence that the individual was too impaired to drive. Evidence can include a blood alcohol content percentage, driving pattern documentation, documentation of personal appearance, and field sobriety tests. If the prosecuting attorney cannot prove to the jury or the judge — which shall oversee the case depends on the circumstances — that the individual was impaired, the case will be dismissed.
Per se laws also exist for drunk driving. Under these laws no evidence is needed to prove that an individual was impaired. Instead per se laws only need to cite that the individual in question had a blood alcohol content percentage over the legal limit.
Punishments and consequences in Kansas for DUI offenses depend on the number of prior convictions. Fines, driver’s license suspension, incarceration, and vehicle impounding are often consequences. A first-time DUI offense is considered to be a Class B Misdemeanor and can include several punishments upon one conviction. Consequences include up to forty-eight hours in jail, up to one hundred hours of community service, a fine between five hundred and one thousand dollars, driver’s license suspension for thirty days with three hundred thirty days of restrictions, and attendance to an alcohol evaluation program.
A second DUI offense is considered a Class A Misdemeanor. This misdemeanor has the same consequences as first-time offense but can have incarceration times between ninety days and one year, an interlocking restriction for license suspension, and fines between one thousand dollars and fifteen hundred dollars.
A third DUI offense will also receive a mandatory imprisonment of ninety days that can be altered after forty-eight hours. Fines can increase to twenty-five hundred dollars. A fourth conviction will include the same punishments as a third offense with a mandatory imprisonment of seventy-two hours minimum. A fifth offense will permanently suspend all driving privileges.
Individuals at least fourteen-years-old upon DUI arrest will be charged as adults. A sentencing cannot exceed ten days. Minors are considered driving under the influence at a blood alcohol content percentage of 0.02. Driver’s licenses will subsequently be suspended for at least thirty days.