Kansas DUI Laws & Attorneys
by Joshua Dale
The term Jayhawkers originally referred to soldiers who used the tactics of birds of prey, sailing the skies looking for victims. Drink and drive in Kansas and you may well get jayhawked by the officers of the law searching the roads and highways for drunk or impaired drivers.
Every driver in Kansas has given their ‘implied consent’ for a blood alcohol test (BAC) when they received a license. This means their breath, blood, or urine will be tested for alcohol and/or drugs when under the suspicion of a Kansas DUI charge. You should note that you have the right to a second test at your own expense at a place of your choice. When blood is drawn with or without a request from law enforcement, it is extremely important to have your Kansas DUI attorney contact the hospital immediately with notice of the federal confidentiality law and to assert your patient’s rights regarding confidentiality of medical records.
Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) is sometimes used by Kansas cops before a BAC test or DUI arrest. The driver blows into a PBT machine revealing if alcohol is detected on the breath. Although law enforcement officers must wait 15 to 20 minutes before administering this test, they rarely do. Be advised that this device is not altogether reliable in court. However, it can be used as evidence if the accused challenges the decision for arrest. Believe it no not, failure to take the PBT test is considered a violation calling for a $50 to $200 fine.
Generally, there are two ways for the prosecutor to prove a Kansas DUI case. One is by proving a BAC of .08% within 2 hours of the test. The other is by proving that the defendant was a less than safe driver due to impairment by alcohol and/or drugs via an officer's observations, including manner of driving, field sobriety tests, the smell of alcohol, blood shot watery eyes, loss of coordination, and general attitude.
If you haven’t been drinking or you believe that you might have ingested or inhaled alcohol based paints or solvents or from a ‘benign source’, mouthwash or prescription or over the counter drugs, be aware that you can still arrested for driving in an impaired or unsafe manner, even if you are not ‘legally drunk’ under Kansas DUI law.
For a Kansas DUI charge you are going to face two gauntlets. One is the Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing and the other is the Kansas criminal courts system. They penalties seem similar, but they are different and may run concurrently (at the same time). Unlike a criminal case the defendant has the burden of proof to prove their innocence. Prior Kansas DUI or out of state convictions will reflect on your penalties.
Be advised that 45 states and the District of Columbia have an out of state Driver’s License Compact Agreement, meaning that Kansas DUI convictions will be reported to your home state which will generally take action to suspend your license.
Across the country DUI laws and evidentiary procedures are being challenged, while at the same time the laws are becoming more severe. To be certain that you have the correct and current knowledge contact an Kansas DUI specialist. In any case, when you are stopped and arrested for suspicion of a DUI, request to see a Kansas DUI attorney, the sooner the better.
-- Info You Should Know --
A Kansas DUI can double, triple or cancel your auto insurance.
An open container in a vehicle is a violation -- even if a bottle contains only a couple drops of alcohol.
1st violation, up to 6 months in jail and a maximum $200.00 fine.
2nd conviction driver's license suspended for 1 year
1 month added jail time for any person convicted of a Kansas DUI with a passenger under 14.
Diversion is an option when the defendant admits guilt, is not formally convicted and agrees to accept responsibility for the crime.
With probation, be a law abiding citizen for 1 year, cannot drink alcohol for 1 year, take random urine samples, and avoid bars and saloons.
The defendant must also attend alcohol education class, a DUI Victims Panel, and follow the instructions of an alcohol counselor or diversion coordinator.
Kansas DUI convictions or diversions are lifetime records and will be considered for enhanced penalties.
After 1 year if the defendant completes a one time only probation agreement the charges will be dismissed.
Was I Stopped Legally?
Basically you were stopped because of an equipment failure or an officer had probable cause to think you were driving in an impaired manner. Arrests for a Kansas DUI focuses on four areas: driving patterns, physical appearance, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests.
Not all reasons offered by officers are always legal. Check with a Kansas DUI attorney who will examine all the different aspects of your case, will defend you aggressively and try to mitigate any penalties
Should I have Talked To the Cop?
Remember that you don’t have to answer any questions that will incriminate you. Most people say that they have had a "couple" of drinks which is not necessarily incriminating. However such "statements of consumption" will be used against them at later hearings.
And if you plan to refuse a sobriety test – which may not be the best action – you should inform the officer who stopped you that you do not want to cooperate until instructed by a Kansas DUI lawyer. But be advised if you refuse to test under the implied consent law you can lose you license on the spot, probably for many months.
Did I Have A Right To Make A Call?
The police are not required to advise the person of this right. But once a request is made, they are obligated to provide an opportunity to make a call, hopefully to a Kansas DUI specialist.
Did I Have To Take A Field Sobriety Test (FST)?
Unlike blood and breath testing, submitting to a Kansas DUI "field sobriety test" is voluntary, but do not expect an officer to inform you of this. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the only tests that have been shown to have some relevance to establishing legal intoxication are the One Leg Stand, the Heel to Toe and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). The results of these tests will be entered as evidence against you. However, even under laboratory conditions, these DUI tests nationwide have only been established to be accurate in predicting blood alcohol content above .10% only 66% to 77% of the time.
I’m Simply Going To Plead Guilty, Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
Experienced and skilled legal DUI attorney may be able to help mitigate your problems and maximize you defense by minimizing your Kansas drunk driving problems. A Kansas DUI conviction can impact you in many ways of which you might not be aware. A Kansas DUI defense attorney will level the playing field between you and the prosecution in an effort to provide and preserve your constitutional rights.
Should I Retain A Kansas DUI Attorney?
Kansas DUI penalties and the numerous and complicated laws and penalties should be taken very seriously as they can be long lasting and severe, both in court and with the DMV which regulates your driving privileges.
When considering consulting a Kansas DUI attorney, take into account the impact of a criminal conviction, increased cost or cancellation of auto insurance, credit ratings, educational opportunities, inability to rent or own cars, restrictions on travel, loss of security clearance, job barriers, possible loss of professional credentials or certifications, voting privileges, and the loss of freedom. Don’t you think these rights, personal possessions, achievements and abilities and are worth protecting?
What’s A DUI Attorney Going To Cost?
One of the biggest concerns for people charged and looking DUI help is the cost of a lawyer. As cases vary, so does cost. You may not realize it that money spent now on a skillful Kansas DUI attorney might save thousands of dollars in the years to come. Jobs, credit ratings, insurance premiums, credit ratings, job opportunities, ability to travel, professional licenses and your standard of living can all be impacted by a criminal record.
Can I Plea Bargain?
There are no plea bargaining statutes in Kansas DUI cases. However, an effective Kansas DUI attorney often times will be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge. While the plea bargain is extremely advantageous to anyone accused of DUI — remember that if a 1st charge was DUI, a subsequent conviction of any following or lesser crimes will still count as a prior for calculating the mandatory minimums for getting busted again.
I’ve Heard of A Nolo Contendere Plea, What Is It?
In legal terms it serves as an alternative to a pleading guilty or not guilty. While not technically a guilty plea, a nolo plea has many of the same effects, but also some mitigating circumstances. In most states you can only plea nolo once in DUI cases. Generally a judge decides whether a nolo plea will be accepted and it is not always available for several reasons. However, you’ll need the services of a veteran Kansas DUI specialist for a nolo plea.
What Happens In Court?
You’ll have to make several appearances. In a criminal case you have the right to a jury trial with presumption of innocence, but once convicted, it can be up to the judge what punishment you will receive. The sentencing range, and whether the offense will be a misdemeanor or a felony, is based on a number of things including the number of prior DUI convictions. These convictions include any previous Kansas administrative or criminal court DUI suspensions, for refusal to submit to a BAC test, or any DUI convictions in other states.
In addition, a judge may require you to participate in alcohol or drug treatment programs as part of a parole (probation) program or have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. As a condition of parole may be that you not drink or congregate where any alcoholic beverages are served (save for ball parks, concerts, restaurants).
Is Being Punished by the DMV and the Criminal Courts Double Jeopardy?
Like most States, Kansas DUI law permits the enforcement of administrative penalties in addition court punishments as they consider driving a privilege, not a right, and not subject to civil liberties. Kansas Department of Revenue (DOR) administers driver’s licenses, imposes civil penalties, and also serves as the judge, jury and metes out punishment.
-- Kansas Criminal DUI Penalties --
What Can You Expect in for Multiple Kansas DUI’s?
Any time you face multiple or ‘aggravated’ charges, or if death or injuries occur, the fallout for a Kansas DUI will get very heavy, including thousands of dollars in fines, mandatory years of imprisonment, massive restitution and of loss of license for years, if not permanently. We cannot strongly enough recommend retaining an experienced Kansas DUI attorney in order to secure the best possible outcome of a potentially very bad situation.
1st Kansas DUI Offense
A Class B misdemeanor.
48 consecutive hours up to a maximum of 6 months in jail or 100 hours of community service.
$500.00 to $1,000.00, in fines and courts costs from $150 to $300.
Possible probation, including no drinking or drugs, lead law abiding life, and alcohol and/or substance abuse education.
Auto may be impounded by court.
30 days suspended driver’s license.
330 days restriction driving to or from work or school.
There are no hardships or exemptions available.
Suspension goes on your permanent driving record.
1 year suspension if you refused test or .15% BAC.
1 year mandatory ignition interlock device which doesn’t allow car to start with a .02% BAC.
2nd DUI Offense
Class A misdemeanor.
90 minimum up to a maximum of 1 year in jail. Some of jail time can be served in an inpatient alcohol treatment facility
$1,000 to $1,500 in fines, plus $150 to $250 in court costs
Probation means leading a law abiding life, no drinking or drugs.
Court ordered attendance for AA meetings, out-patient or in-patient treatment programs.
Vehicles registered to offender must be equipped with an ignition interlock device or be impounded or immobilized for 2 years.
1 year suspension for less than .15% BAC,
1 year of restricted driving with vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock.
I year suspension, 2 years restricted driving with interlock device for a test of .15% or higher, or for refusal of test.
No hardship or exemptions available.
Recorded on permanent driving record.
3rd DUI Offense
Possible felony conviction.
90 days minimum to a 1 year maximum in jail.
$1,500 up to $2,500 in fines, plus court costs of $100 to $250.
Probation possible after 90 days in custody.
88 of the days of incarceration may be served in a work release program with house arrest or jail time at night.
Inpatient treatment in lieu of jail time is generally not available for a third time offender.
Each vehicle registered to the offender must be equipped with an ignition interlock device or be impounded or immobilized for 2 years.
1 year driver’s license suspension for a .15% BAC followed by 1 year of driving only vehicles with an ignition interlock device.
1 year suspension for a BAC of .15% or higher, or refusal a test, followed by a 3 year restriction to driving only vehicles with an ignition interlock device.
Possible 3 years revocation of license by Department of Revenue/Division of Motor Vehicles for habitual offender.
Recorded on permanent driving record.
4th DUI Offense
90 days minimum up to a maximum of 1 year in jail.
$2,500 in fines, plus the extra fees and court costs $150 to$250.
1 year supervised probation by the Kansas Department of Corrections after serving of at least 90 days in jail.
1 year mandatory drug and alcohol treatment.
Vehicles registered to the offender must be equipped with an ignition interlock device or be impounded or immobilized for 2 years.
1 year suspension of driver’s license for .15% or higher BAC, or refusal of test, and 4 years restriction to driving only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device.
5th DUI Offense
90 days minimum up to 1 year maximum in jail.
$2,500 in fines plus added court cost of $150 to $250.
1 year probation, after serving 90 days in jail, including mandatory drug and alcohol treatment.
Vehicles registered by offender must be equipped with an ignition interlock device or be impounded or immobilized for 2 years
Driver's license is suspended for the rest of your life.
-- Administrative Department of Revenue (DMV) Penalties --
After your driver’s license has been confiscated a ‘pink’ temporary will be issued.
A written request for a DOR/DMV hearing must be submitted within 10 days. If you fail to make a written request, or don’t make the request properly, the license will be automatically suspended by the Department of Revenue/DMV.
Driving privileges will be extended until the date of the hearing.
BAC of .08% to .149%, 30 days suspension of driver’s license and 330 days restricted to driving to and from work and school. The reinstatement fee is $100.00.
BAC of .15% or higher, 1 one year license suspension, 1 year of restriction driving only vehicles with an ignition interlock device.
2nd & 3rd Offense
BAC between.08% and .149% I year suspension of driver’s license followed by 1 year of restricted driving only vehicles with an ignition interlock device. The reinstatement fee is $200.00.
BAC of .15% BAC 1 year suspension followed by 2 years of ignition interlock.
BAC of .15% BAC or higher 1 year suspension followed by 3 years of ignition interlock.
4th & 5th Offense
BAC between .08% and .149% 1 year suspension of driver’s license, plus 1 year of restriction to driving only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device. The reinstatement fee is $300.00.
BAC of .15% or higher. 1 year suspension of driver’s license, plus 4 years of ignition interlock.
5th test failure. Lifetime revocation.
Any person convicted of a Kansas DUI who has a child under 14 years of age as a passenger shall have their punishment enhanced by one month of imprisonment
Refusal of the chemical test
1st refusal, driving privileges are suspended for 1 year. The reinstatement fee is $400.00.
2nd, driving privileges are suspended for 2 years. The reinstatement fee is $600.00.
3rd, driving privileges are suspended for 3 years. The reinstatement fee is $800.00.
4th, driving privileges are suspended for 10 years. The reinstatement fee is $1,000.00.
5th, driving privileges are suspended for life.
Underage Kansas DUI
Ages 14 to 18 will be tried as adults.
A BAC of .02. or greater is considered impaired.
30 days suspension of driver’s license
330 days of restricted driving to work or school.
1 year suspension of driver’s license for a BAC of .08% to .149%.
1 year license suspension for BAC of .15% or higher, followed by 1 year of operating only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device.
1 year suspension of driver’s license for refusing test.
40 hours of community service
Mandatory attendance of the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Education Program or an approved treatment program.
Kansas DUI can affect the rates of other family members.
A minor possessing or consuming alcohol is punishable by a minimum $200 to $500 fine and possible jail time.
30 day mandatory suspension of the driver's license for a conviction of minor in possession.
If you are minor, consider the ramifications of a Kansas DUI and call a Kansas DUI attorney for advice.
Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Penalties
BAC limit for a CDL is .04%.
1 year suspension for test failure or refusal.
2nd test failure or refusal lifetime suspension.
CDL holders are not eligible for diversion or restricted driving permits.
CDL holders can lose license for offenses committed in any vehicle.
– Disclaimer –
Only experienced Kansas DUI attorneys should provide you with bonified legal advice. Consequently, the aforementioned information on this web site should not be construed as legal advice, rather suggestions and a range of helpful information and should not be substituted for speaking with an accredited Kansas attorney specializing in DUI law. There is no warrantee, expressed or implied herein. Kansas DUI laws and issues are complicated, and can change. Litigation takes experience. Please let us refer you to a seasoned Kansas DUI slawyer.
(DUI) Kansas State Code Articles 8-1001 through 8-1022.
Kansas State Department of Revenue/Department of Motor Vehicles.
Driver Control maintains driving records and processes changes to driving privileges such as restrictions,suspensions, revoked licenses and reinstated licenses. We also coordinate administrative hearings on chemical test failures and test refusals, and manage proof of insurance requirements for drivers.