Most drivers in Kansas are considered intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, but stricter rules apply to commercial vehicle drivers and those under the legal drinking age of 21. The penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol can be severe for motorists who cause serious accidents or have a history of drunk driving, and people who operate a vehicle while intoxicated with passengers under the age of 14 also face more severe penalties in Kansas.
Motorists convicted of their first drunk driving offense in Kansas spend 48 hours in jail or perform 100 hours of community service, and they must also pay for and complete a drug or alcohol safety program. Their driving privileges are suspended for 30 days, and they must pay their court costs, probation fees and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. The fines are increased for subsequent DUI offenses, and repeat offenders must have ignition interlock devices fitted to their vehicles.
Repeat drunk drivers in Kansas face jail sentences of between 90 days and one year, and a fourth or subsequent DUI in the state will result in felony charges. Driving privileges in Kansas are suspended for a year following a second DUI offense, and they are permanently revoked following a fifth drunk driving conviction. To ensure that people convicted of second or subsequent drunk driving offenses comply with these suspensions, Kansas DUI laws allow the authorities to impound their vehicles for one year.
Prosecutors generally have heavy caseloads, and they often seek to resolve drunk driving cases quickly. Experienced criminal defense attorneys could agree to settle these cases swiftly in return for more lenient sentences, and they may point out mitigating factors during plea negotiations to add weight to these arguments. Mitigating factors could include sincere remorse, full-time employment, a genuine desire to tackle substance abuse problems and a supportive family.