Introduction to Kansas DUI Driving Under the Influence

“Driving under the influence” means operating a motor vehicle when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that renders one unable to safely drive a vehicle. In Kansas, a driving under the influence charge is usually referred to as a DUI, but may be called a DWI or OUI in some jurisdictions. (Click here for further discussion of these terms)

Years ago, a “drunk driving” charge meant that someone was “drunk” in the way all of us commonly understand the word: intoxicated. In the mid-1980’s, legislatures all over the United States began to toughen their DUI laws in response to public outcry and media coverage of the DUI issue. Today it is not necessary that a person be drunk to receive a DUI ticket. In fact, and other pages in this site will discuss this in more detail later, if your breath or blood shows an alcohol concentration of .08 or over within two hours of operating a vehicle, you are presumed to be too intoxicated to safely drive in the state of Kansas. You may not think you are intoxicated. Those around you may not think you are intoxicated. Indeed, you may not be considered intoxicated for any other purpose in the world other than driving. But you may have enough alcohol or drugs in your system to be considered too intoxicated to drive. And if you are convicted of a DUI in Kansas you will suffer some harsh penalties.

When a person is cited for a Kansas DUI there are essentially two lawsuits initiated: one is a criminal charge brought by the city or state in which you are stopped; the other is a civil lawsuit brought against your driver’s license by the Kansas Department of Revenue. These proceedings occur simultaneously and both have a severe impact on your driving record and quality of life. Both will be discussed at length in the following pages. In addition, as of July 2012, it is illegal to refuse to submit to a test of breath, blood or urine to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs, which means that a person can and will be charged with an additional crime if he or she refuses a breath test in Kansas.

Keep in mind that every case is different and raises different issues. Some of the issues presented in this information will not be applicable to your case. DUI cases rise or fall on the facts of each case. The quality of your defense in a DUI case depends on the details and facts of your particular case. There are two primary sources of this information: You and arresting officer’s police reports and videos. Thus, it is very important that you share with your attorney ALL of the details and facts about your case, and that you give him or her the TRUTH.

The goal of our law firm in representing a DUI client is to get a dismissal of the charges, an acquittal at trial, or to obtain a non-DUI disposition. While this is not always possible, we don’t stop fighting until our clients tell us to. It is very important that you be familiar with the issues involved in the typical Kansas DUI case so that you may aid and participate in your defense and make informed choices regarding your case.