My son is currently serving a driver’s license suspension for a DUI. I have heard that he could possibly work to get his license back now based on new changes to DUI laws. Is this true? I appreciate you answering this question as it is significant for his job, etc.
You are correct that the Kansas legislature did recently pass fairly significant changes to Kansas DUI laws. These changes went into effect on July 1, 2011.
Regarding license suspensions, it is now possible to install an ignition interlock device in lieu of a suspension. An ignition interlock device is attached to a vehicle and prevents the vehicle from running if alcohol is detected on the breath of the driver.
Under the old law, for example, a person that blew over .15 received a mandatory one-year license suspension. Under the new law, a person can now seek an ignition interlock device after 45 days under these circumstances. Upon receiving the ignition interlock device, the individual can drive to and from school, work and any type of alcohol treatment facility.
Under the old law, a person that blew between .08 and .15 was suspended for 30 days followed by a 330 restriction. The new law requires an interlock device under these circumstances and the length of the interlock restriction depends on the individual’s prior driving record.
This law is retroactive for people suspended prior to July 1, 2011. In other words, if your son is serving a suspension from a DUI that occurred prior to July 1st, he can still seek the benefit of installing an ignition interlock device, as allowed for by the new law. A $100 application fee is required, however.
Although not addressed in your question, the new law also changed criminal penalties such as the fines and jail requirements.