Jay Norton was honored to serve on the DUI Committee of the Kansas Judicial Council which was convened for the purposes of conducting a thorough review of Kansas DUI laws and making recommendations for changes. The committee first met in 2018 and worked for 3 years to bring House Bill 2377 to the Kansas Legislature in 2022. The bill passed and was recently signed by the Governor, making some changes to the DUI laws in Kansas effective July 1, 2022.
ADMINSTRATIVE DRIVER’S LICENSE CONSEQUENCES: Previously, Kansas drivers who failed or refused a test were required to be suspended from driving completely for some period of time. The new law allows drivers to apply for a restricted license immediately which would allow them to drive a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device without being suspended. There are no route restrictions. In other words, drivers are not limited to only driving to and from work or school, but can drive anywhere at anytime as long as they have an ignition interlock device installed. This is a great change for drivers that will allow them to keep working and otherwise functioning in modern life.
The legislature also adopted an indigency program for the ignition interlock device which has a sliding scale for the costs of the device depending on the driver’s income, for those that will qualify.
Another change is “compliance-based removal” of the ignition interlock device. In order to complete the interlock requirement and have the device removed and get your license completely reinstated you will have to show that you did not have any violations during the last 90 days of the interlock restriction – i.e., that you were not blocked from driving due to having alcohol in your system.
CRIMINAL CONSEQUENCES: Changes to the criminal consequences of DUI include that first time DUI convictions will no longer require that a mandatory minimum of 48 hours of imprisonment be served before probation is granted. That is great news for first time DUI’s in Kansas. The mandatory minimum sentence for third time DUI convictions was reduced from 90 days to 30 days, but felony DUI convictions will now be sentenced according to the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines grid. A felony DUI is a Level 6 felony. People convicted of a felony DUI will face going to state prison for the first time in Kansas history.
There were other changes to the law that range from minor to significant, including the elimination of the allowance for moped licenses for people convicted of DUI and a way for commercial drivers to get their CDL reinstated after a lifetime suspension. The Kansas DUI Manual our law firm provides includes the updates to the law.