Penalties Could Get Stiffer For First Time DUI Offenders

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - More highly intoxicated drunk drivers
could face jail time for their first DUI offense, under a proposal
in the General Assembly.
Currently, having a blood-alcohol level of .18 or higher is
considered an aggravating factor that may lead to stiffer
Senator Ray Jones is seeking to make it tougher on drunk drivers
by lowering the threshold to .15. State law says a person is
legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of .08.
Jones, a Pikeville Democrat, says a person convicted of
aggravated drunk driving faces a minimum of four days in jail for a
first offense.
Jones says the bill also cracks down on people who drive with
illegal drugs in their system. The bill, which passed the Senate
Judiciary Committee Thursday, heads to the full Senate.
The legislation is Senate Bill 71

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Bill Location: Williamstown on Jan 20, 2008 at 08:13 AM
    Kentucky State Senator Ray Jones is attempting to push through a bill that will establish a per se DUI offense for driving with a detectable level of an illegal substance or a controlled substance for which the person does not have a valid prescription. Senate Bill 71, sponsored by Senator Jones, is much more insidious than your story indicates. This proposed statute is wrong on its face. The statute regards driving under the influence -- the amendment removes the necessity of proof of the individual being actually under the influence, thereby negating the constitutional presumption of innocence. Presence of the substance does not equal 'under the influence.' Jones is dead wrong on this matter. It is not justice that the prosecutor's job is made more 'efficient.' It is rightfully the prosecutor’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Jones bill essentially creates a presumption of guilt. The KY County Attorneys are for this legislation because it removes their burden of proof, not because it is the right thing to do. This bill should NOT be passed. It is time to stop the MADDness.


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