Drunk Driving Defense Law in Oklahoma
If an officer suspects a driver is driving while intoxicated, the officer can pull the driver over and request a breath test as well as a field sobriety test. In the state of Oklahoma, anyone who operates a motor vehicle has given implied consent, meaning drivers agree to be tested if requested. If a driver refuses, the driver's license is immediately suspended and the driver can be arrested. The suspension could last up to three years, depending on charges and the driving record of the driver.
Like most states, 0.08 is the legal limit for a person's blood alcohol content. However, Oklahoma recognizes that anything over 0.05 is legally impaired. This means a person registers over a 0.05 can be charged with DUI. Like an increasing number of states, Oklahoma has zero tolerance for underage DUI.
Why You Can Be Pulled Over
Oklahoma police officers are experienced in spotting drivers who might be under the influence. Some of the reasons an officer might pull over a driver include:
- Not using headlights when driving at night
- Swerving into oncoming traffic lanes
- Applying the breaks for no known reason
- Ignoring turning lanes and going straight
- Erratic lane changes
- Excessive speed
- Driving too closely to other vehicles
After pulling a driver over, the officer will look for further evidence that the driver is impaired. This could include:
- Checking for the presence of alcohol on the driver's breath
- Examining the driver's overall appearance.
- The driver's speech is thick or slurred and he/she has red, glassy eyes
Possible Penalties Following Conviction
For Oklahomans convicted of DUI with a BAC over 0.05 but lower than 0.08 drivers can face either a fine between $100 and $500, six months to one year in jail or both. The driver's license will also be suspended depending on the offense. For a first offense, the revocation is for 30 days. The second offense results in a six month suspension and the third and subsequent offenses bring a one-year suspension.
For those convicted of DUI above 0.08, the penalties are more severe. The first conviction is a misdemeanor, with penalties of jail time from 10 days to one year and a fine up to $1,000. For a second offense within 10 years of the first offense is a felony and can mean one to seven years in jail, and up to a $2,500 fine. A second offense after 10 years is also a felony punishable by one to seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine. A third offense is a felony and can result in a jail sentence of one to 10 years and a fine up to $5,000. Upon conviction, the driver's license is suspended. The suspension for a first offense is 180 days, a second offense within 10 years is a one-year suspension and a third offense results in a three-year license suspension.
Penalties for Underage DUI
Oklahoma has a zero tolerance policy for minor DUIs. Any person under 21 but over 18 convicted of a DUI faces the following penalties:
- First offense: Loss of license for six months and a fine between $100 and $500
- Second offense: Loss of license for 12 months and a fine between $100 and $1,000
- Third offense: 36-month license suspension and a fine between $100 and $1,000
Drivers under the age of 18 that are convicted of DUI can lose their license for six months up to 21 years of age. Also, all underage drivers could be required to do community service, complete an alcohol treatment program or a combination of the two.
Don't try to fight this alone; let an experienced Oklahoma DUI attorney ensure the best possible outcome.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Drunk Driving Articles
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