Thanks to its tough DUI laws, Kansas has managed to keep drunk driving occurrences and fatalities relatively low. In 2011, the state had 108 drunk driving fatalities, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). While drunk driving fatalities made up 28 percent of the total traffic deaths that year, Kansas had a 19 percent decrease in DUI-related fatalities from the year before. MADD reports that the state’s all-offender ignition interlock legislation, enacted in 2011, has helped to reduce drunk driving-related traffic deaths in Kansas.
Anyone who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher in Kansas is charged with DUI. Consequences include a fine, jail time, and driver’s license suspension:
- 1st Offense: $750-$1,000 fine; 48 consecutive hours to 6 months in jail (or 100 hours of community service); 30-day license suspension
- 2nd Offense: $1,250-$1,750 fine; 90 days to 1 year in jail; 1-year license suspension
- 3rd Offense: $1,750-$2,500 fine; 90 days to 1 year in jail; 1-year license suspension
- 4th or Subsequent Offenses: $2,500 fine; 90 days to 1 year in jail; 1-year license suspension
Under the state’s DUI Child Endangerment Law, convicted drunk drivers who committed the offense while a child under the age of 14 was in the car will be sentenced to an additional month of jail time to be served consecutively to their minimum jail time sentence for DUI.
Ignition Interlock Laws
Kansas is one of only 18 states that requires all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders, to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. The amount of time offenders must keep the device installed is dependent on prior convictions and their BAC at the time of arrest:
- 1st Offense (BAC of 0.08 or higher): 6 to 12 months
- 1st Offense (BAC of 0.15 or higher) & 2nd Offense: 12 months
- 3rd Offense: 2 years
- 4th Offense: 3 years
- 5th or Subsequent Offenses: 10 years (may petition court for removal after 5 years)
The period of interlock installation increases by one year for second-, third-, and fourth-time offenders with a BAC of 0.15.