The state of Kentucky is located in the East Central part of the United
States. Originally a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it became
its own entity and was admitted to the union in 1792. Kentucky is
nicknamed "The Bluegrass State" due to an abundance of bluegrass that
grows in the fertile soil.
The state is known for its thoroughbred horses and the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky is also known for having an abundance of turkey, deer, and
free ranging elk. The state is divided into 120 counties, with the most
populous being Jefferson County.
Crime and Punishment
Kentucky has a body of governing laws referred to as the "Kentucky
Revised Statutes," which were enacted in 1942. In 1948 a state police
force was established, making Kentucky the 38th state to create a force
with jurisdiction extending throughout the entire state. Kentucky law
allows for the death penalty to punish certain crimes.
Capital crimes committed after March 31, 1998 call for execution by
lethal injection. Those convicted after this date can choose to receive
death by the electric chair. Kentucky held the last public execution in
the United States in 1936. For lesser crimes, imprisonment is a common
punishment. The incarceration rate in Kentucky is slightly below the
national rate at 478 per 100,000 residents in jail or prison. The
national rate is 502.
Kentucky is known for whiskey and bourbon distilleries, and although
you may assume from this that the state has liberal rules regarding
alcohol, the laws reflect a different story. Of 120 total counties, 46
are completely dry. This means that the sale of any alcoholic beverage
is prohibited. Forty-two counties are partially dry, or "moist,"
meaning that alcohol sales for off-premise consumption are allowed only
in a specific city.
Kentucky enforces DUI laws to protect its residents from the danger of
drunk drivers. Punishments for driving under the influence are
influenced by prior convictions. One unique aspect of Kentucky law is
that they look back at the offender record five years, and if there are
previous DUI convictions, the sentence is much harsher.
Punishments for drunk driving usually include imprisonment, drivers'
license suspension, fines, community service, and alcohol treatment and
education. Aggravating factors such as speeding, having a minor in the
car, causing harm or death to someone, or having a blood alcohol
content over twice the legal limit will elevate the charges.
Weird Kentucky Laws
Most states have some strange laws on their books, and Kentucky has its
share of these. You probably know it's illegal to rob a bank or kidnap
a child, but did you know that you may not sell a duckling that has
been dyed blue unless you have more than six for sale at once?
It is also illegal to fish with a bow and arrow. In Fort Thomas, the
law specifically says that dogs may not molest cars, and in Owensboro,
a woman may not buy a hat without the permission of her husband. Take
that you feminists!