- Location: Oklahoma
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Drinking, drugs, and driving make for a deadly combination. In Oklahoma it is known as driving while under the influence (DUI) and the laws are tough. Convictions for DUI cases can range from a license suspension to jail time to a prison sentence, depending on the circumstances involved.
Alcohol, even in small amounts, slows your reaction time and impairs your sense. You may think yourself sober after drinking only a small amount of alcohol, but studies show that even one drink can make you less alert, which will impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Blood alcohol content or BAC is the measure of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. When a police officer administers a breathalyzer test, the reading he/she sees is the measurement of the person's BAC. A BAC reading of .08% or more means the driver is intoxicated under Oklahoma law.
No. If you are under the age of 21, any measurable amount of alcohol in your system will result in the revocation of your driver's license, even if you are not convicted of DUI in court.
If you are stopped by a police officer who suspects that you have been drinking, you will be asked to take a breath test. Under Oklahoma law, if you are driving a motor vehicle, you have given what is known as implied consent to be tested by an officer if you are suspected of drinking and driving.
Refusal to take the test will result in the immediate revocation of your driver's license, even if you have not been drinking. It could also result in your arrest. The revocation will stay in effect for anywhere from 180 days to three years, depending on your driving record.
If you test under the .08% level, you can still face DUI penalties. According to Oklahoma law, you are impaired at the .05% level and can still be convicted if you are found guilty for DUI with a .05% BAC.
The penalty for driving with a BAC of between .05% and .08% is a $100 fine or six months in jail. Your license will also be suspended as follows:
- First suspension: 30 days
- Second suspension: 6 months
- Third suspension: 1 year
The previous suspension do not need to be alcohol or drug related to effect the suspension for DUI.
If you are convicted of DUI with a BAC more than .08%, the penalties are as follows:
- A misdemeanor
- Jail time of not less than 10 days and not more than one year
- Fine of not more than $1,000
Second Offense Within 10 Years of the First Offense
- A felony
- Jail time of not less than one year not to exceed five years
- Fine of not more than $2,500
Second Felony Offense
- A felony
- Jail time of not less than one year and not to exceed seven years
- Fine of not more than $5,000
Third or Subsequent Offense
- A felony
- Jail time of not less than one year and not to exceed 10 years
- Fine of not more than $5,000
Once you are convicted of DUI, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) is sent notification of the conviction. They will then suspend or revoke your driver's license, unless the license has already been revoked because the BAC test was refused.
Your license will be revoked as follows:
- First revocation: 180 days
- Second revocation: One year if there was a prior DUI or drug-related revocation within five years
- Three years if there were two or more DUI or drug related revocation in the past five years
Fines are not the only expenses involved in DUI cases. There are attorney's fees, treatment costs, lost time from work, alternate transportation costs while your license is revoked, plus a $75 processing fee for the license revocation and a $25 fee to have it reinstated.
If you are authorized for limited driving, there is a $175 fee for that, not to mention increased insurance rates, and if your conviction is a felony, all the issues that go along with a felony record.
If you are taking a prescription medication, check the bottle to see if it carries a warning about possible side effects. Many medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness and impaired reaction time. If you are not sure if it is safe to drive while taking a particular medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
As stated above, any amount of alcohol found in the system of a person under the age of 21 will result in the automatic revocation of your driver's license. If you refuse the BAC test, your license will automatically be revoked for the same period as it would be if you had any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
The revocation periods are as follows:
- First Offense: Revocation for 6 months
- Second Offense: Revocation for 12 months
- Third Offense: Revocation for 36 months
Other penalties for underage DUI in Oklahoma are:
- First conviction: Fine of between $100 and $500 or community service or treatment program or any combination thereof.
- Second or subsequent conviction: Fine of between $100 and $1,000, community service, treatment program, or any combination thereof.
The penalties are ever stricter for people younger than the age of 18. If you fall under this category and are arrested for any crime involving alcohol, even you were not driving a car, will result in the loss of your driving privileges for anywhere between six months and two years, depending on your record and the circumstances.