New DUI law causing a backlog of cases

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Prestonsburg, Ky.–In Kentucky the offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is enhanceable that means that each time a person is convicted of a DUI the penalty is increased depending on the number of offenses in the past 5-years.

All that changed in April of 2016 when the state legislature passed, and Governor Matt Bevin signed into law, a provision to the driving under the influence statute in Kentucky which increased the “look back” time from 5 to 10-years.

Since that time there has been some confusion among the courts of whether that meant the new law applied ten-years prior or ten-years forward from its signing.

The Kentucky Supreme Court cleared all that up when they rendered a decision in a case on September 28th in Warren County, stating that the new “look back” law does mean that any offender who is charged with a DUI can have that charged enhance if they have had another DUI conviction within the last ten-years.

This recent decision by the Supreme Court will have an effect on many cases in Floyd County as well as throughout the state.

“I don’t have a backlog of cases; other jurisdictions do have a backlog of cases. Our Circuit judges were unsure of how that was going to come down so many of those cases were in actuality felonies because if you have more than three DUI’s within that 10-year period it becomes a felony. They sent them back to the District Court and they’ve been in abeyance since then. So those cases that were in limbo so to speak are going to go back to the Circuit Courts for processing as felony charges because the 10-year capture is now solidified.”

Judge all went on to say that although no one should drive under this influence, the new law does raise the stakes for anyone who has already been convicted of a DUI within the past 10-years.