The term “reckless driving” can mean many different things in Kentucky. Any type of reckless driving offense that is not specifically covered in other traffic law statutes (such as DUI) will be prosecuted under § 189.290 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS). This section of the law, however, is somewhat vague.
In reality, KRS § 189.290 doesn’t really define reckless driving. Instead, it describes what is expected of a good driver and leaves anything else to be considered as a violation and, therefore, reckless driving. It reads as follows:
- The operator of any vehicle upon a highway shall operate the vehicle in a careful manner, with regard for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and other vehicles upon the highway.
- No person shall willfully operate any vehicle on any highway in such a manner as to injure the highway.
What Is Considered Reckless Driving In Kentucky?
Reckless driving in the state of Kentucky is, more or less, anything that could be considered unsafe for, or a risk to the safety of anyone on the roadways. Some examples of offenses that fall under this law include:
- Making erratic or unnecessary lane changes
- Passing other vehicles at inappropriate times
- Drag racing
- Following other vehicles too closely (tailgating)
- Driving 15mph or more over the speed limit
You can also be charged under this statute for doing just about anything in a motor vehicle that shows a general disregard for public safety while on the road.
Possible Penalties For Reckless Driving In Kentucky
If you are being charged with reckless driving for the first time, the penalty is usually very small. Penalties can become substantial, however, if you are charged with driving recklessly more than once or if the reckless driving charge is combined with other charges.
A first-time offender will be fined at least $20 but not more than $100. A second offense generally receives the same penalty. For the third offense within a 12-month period, the driver will face a six-month license suspension.
Four points are also added to a motorist’s license each time they are convicted of reckless driving. Anyone who accumulates 12 or more points within any two-year period can have their license suspended.
Reckless Driving As A Plea Bargain
In Kentucky, when charged with DUI, it is sometimes possible to negotiate a plea bargain to bring the charge down to reckless driving.
In general, Kentucky law prohibits prosecutors from reducing a DUI charge if the driver involved refuses chemical testing or has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. The BAC limit is .02% for anyone under the age of 21.
In DUI cases where the driver has not refused any tests and the BAC level was under .08%, plea bargain negotiations are not restricted in any way.
Speak With A Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney
Because Kentucky’s reckless driving law is so vague, the way it’s applied and the possible penalties can vary significantly from one case to another. That’s why it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney if you’ve been arrested or charged with reckless driving. Don’t take chances with the possibility of additional criminal charges or your opportunity to properly defend yourself.
Contact us online now or call (859) 259-0727 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll go over the details of your case and explain exactly how the law applies to your situation and what would be the best course of action for you.