Kansas DUI Laws: FAQ

How can I defend a Kansas DUI charge?

In order to defend against such a DUI charge, you will want to demonstrate to the court:

  • independent witnesses who can attest to your lack of intoxication;
  • a critical examination of the results of the Intoxilyzer or blood tests;
  • a problem with the precision and proficiency with which the officer conducted the field sobriety tests;
  • a flaw in the training and experience of the persons who conducted any chemical tests;
  • the unconstitutionality of any stops, searches and seizures;
  • a lack of credibility and reliability of the statements of any witnesses.

As with any criminal charge, the city or state bears the burden of proving the charge against you. Because of an increased political and public intolerance toward those who drink and drive, however, defending against a DUI charge has become more complicated, while the penalties upon conviction have become more onerous.

Do I have to submit to a Chemical Sobriety Test under Kansas DUI law?

Yes. Kansas law states that by having a driver’s license, you have given authorities the “implied consent” to test for the presence of alcohol should you be stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of DUI. If you refuse the urine, blood, or breath test you will be charged with a separate offense. Even if you are later acquitted of DUI, you will still undergo a 1 year license suspension for refusal. If you are convicted of both DUI and refusal your penalties including fines and license suspension will likely increase.

How do DUI’s affect drivers under 21 years of age in Kansas?

It is unlawful for any person under 21 to operate or attempt to operate a vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol content of .02 or greater. If a driver under 21 has a BAC between .02­ and .079 there are no criminal penalties, but driving privileges can be suspended for 30 days on the first occurrence, and one year on any subsequent occurrence. However, if the driver has a BAC of .08 or above his or her driving privileges can be suspended for 1 year. In order to avoid an automatic suspension of driving privileges, you must request an administrative hearing within 10 days of the day you were stopped. If you request a hearing, the basis for the suspension may be challenged.

Do I qualify for the Kansas DUI Diversion Program?

If you have never been convicted of DUI, have never entered into a diversion contract for DUI before, and were not involved in an accident or collision resulting in personal injury or death, you may be eligible to participate in a DUI diversion program. Diversion is essentially a contract between the county or city and the person charged with DUI in which the person charged gives up his or her right to a speedy trial and his or her right to a jury trial, in exchange for an opportunity to avoid a conviction for DUI.

Under the diversion agreement, you will be required to pay a fine; attend an alcohol and drug safety action program or treatment program, or both; use no alcohol or drugs; and fulfill whatever other terms and conditions the city or state requires. If, at the completion of the diversion period ­usually one year­­ you have completed all the requirements of the contract, the criminal charge of DUI is dismissed. If you do not successfully do all that is required of you under the contract, your case will be placed back on the trial docket and the criminal case against you will be reinstated and your trial will be conducted on stipulated facts.

Can I have my DUI expunged under Kansas law?

Yes. A conviction for a DUI can be expunged, or eliminated from your criminal record­ for most purposes, five years after you have either been released from custody or completed your term or probation or post-release supervision­, whichever came last. The expungement does not occur automatically, but will only happen if you file a motion with the court, and demonstrate that it is in the best interest of justice to expunge your conviction. Once your arrest and conviction are expunged, you need not reveal the fact that you were arrested or convicted except under very specific situations that are provided by law. The expunged conviction, however, will still be included in your criminal history if you are ever again convicted of a crime.