Category Archives: DUI

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules on the 10 year “Lookback” period

Today, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued its opinion regarding the statutory “Look Back” rule. The practical effect of this opinion is this: prior to the state legislature passing this law, the state of Kentucky punished people more harshly if they were arrested for multiple DUIs within a 5 year period. After the 5 year period, any convictions that were older than 5 years could not be used against you to enhance the penalties for a subsequent offense. Under the new law, the enhancement period is now 10 years so even if it has been over 5 years since your last offense,  any new offense will be enhanced. The defense bar challenged the law primarily using contract law and ex post facto but obviously lost. Read the opinion. 

One Every Ten Years And You Will Be Safe

DUI Ten Year Look-Back Period


The New Law in KY:

The general public might not be aware that this last Legislative session produced yet another unfair law. Some may believe that people get what they deserve if they drink and drive. However, everyone is still entitled to equal protection under the law.

As you will see in the article below, care of WDRB in Louisville, the issue is whether or not the law can be applied retroactively. The old DUI statute provided for enhanced penalties for each DUI conviction within a 5-year period (commonly referred to as the “look back” period). Defendants relied on that provision when they agreed to plead guilty. This agreement was entered into between the prosecutor and the individual, and accepted by the Court. Now, those same individuals are subject to enhancement for any offense that occurred in a 10 year look-back period.

An Example:

For instance, lets say that Bob is a sophomore at UK. Bob attends a rush party and makes the bad decision to drive home after having a few drinks. This occurs in 2007. That would be Bob’s first offense.

Fast forward to 2016. Bob is a top performer at a sales company. Bob has a wife and three kids. Bob’s  company sponsors a golf scramble and during the reception afterwards, Bob has two drinks over about an hour and a half. Bob leaves, feeling no effects whatsoever from the drinks that he had. On the way home, Bob is stopped for rolling through a stop sign.

From there everything goes downhill. Bob is asked to blow into a portable breath test machine.  Then the officer asks him to submit to a field sobriety test ( in 21 years of practicing DUI defense, I have never seen a person who passed a field sobriety test). Bob is locked up.

Under the old law, because it had been over 5 years since his last conviction,  Bob would be charged with a first offense DUI and be subject to 30 days in jail (which people rarely get), up to a 120 license suspension (which people rarely get), fines and costs and will have to go to DUI school.

Under the new law, the look-back period is 10 years so he will be charged with a 2nd offense, which carries six months in jail with  a mandatory 7 days in jail, a 12 -18 month license suspension, fines and costs and 52 weeks of DUI school.

Obviously, when Bob pled guilty to the DUI in 2007, he did so with the understanding that there would be a 5 year look back period. As he is about to find out, that isn’t so. At least according to some Courts in Kentucky.


Continue reading One Every Ten Years And You Will Be Safe

Cheers! New Liquor Laws on the Books in KY

Is the legislature finally moving away from viewing alcohol in Kentucky as the Devil’s Brew? On July 15, 2016, several laws relating to liquor, alcohol sales, brewing, etc. came into effect. The Courier Journal did a nice job setting these new laws out.

See the link below for a summary.  Cheers!

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If you find yourself faced with a DUI offense in a Central Kentucky Court, consider contacting my office.  For more information:

FAQ’s for the Ignition Interlock Devices


Ignition Interlock Devices in KY:

This past session the Kentucky State Legislature passed a bill that allows those convicted of DUI, even repeat offenders, to operate a vehicle during their suspension period.  The bill allows for the use of Ignition Interlock devices.

Quite frankly, it has been a difficult process for criminal law practitioners to get a grip on and there has been an enormous amount of inconsistency in the statute’s application and the interaction between the Courts and the Department of Transportation. It seems as though that process is becoming smoother and more uniform from county to county but what I would say to the reader is that you should be patient with your lawyer and the process as he/she works for you to get it done.

As criminal lawyers, we know that the inability to drive after being convicted of DUI has hamstrung clients for many years. The overall concern with the license suspension of a person convicted of DUI is to “get the person off the road”. Well, this device ensures that drivers under the influence are off the road, and at the same time, allows a person to continue to work, take care of their kids and even drive a company vehicle.

Below, you will see information that will explain the law and the process to you. I know no one is anticipating picking up a DUI charge, but just in case….CALL ME. “BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE”


If you find yourself faced with a DUI offense in a Central Kentucky Court, consider contacting my office.  For more information:

A Dangerous Ride: What can happen if you get locked up

This is a strange question, but do you ever see a paddy wagon or other prison transport vehicle and wonder what goes on inside of them? Ever see them on TV?  Well if you are one of those who have, or if not and this post makes you wonder, please click on the link below. It is very disturbing. The moral of the story: Don’t  get locked up. But “Bad Things Happen to Good People” so if you do, CALL ME!


If you find yourself faced with a criminal offense in a Central Kentucky Court, consider contacting my office.  For more information:

Beefing Up Patrols: KSP out in Full Force over the Holiday Weekend

Thinking of drinking and driving this weekend? Think again

What Do I Do at a DUI Checkpoint?

DUI Checkpoint Rules

For many of you, DUI Checkpoints are nothing to be feared. However, there are those unlucky few who encounter a checkpoint in Kentucky. Most of the time, things go downhill even if you have truly had just a “couple of beers”.  Before you go out this holiday weekend, take a look at this story to see how the law is changing on how the police can conduct checkpoints in Kentucky. Happy 4th !speddinglawoffices_dui1

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