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  • DUI & DWI in Oklahoma

    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.

    Just One Beer?

    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.

    What's This BAC Thing?

    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 0.08% or more means the driver is intoxicated under Oklahoma law.

    Does That Go for Everyone?

    No. If you are under 21 years old, 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

    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 3 years, depending on your driving record.

    What if the BAC is Lower Than 0.08%?

    If you test under the 0.08% level, you can still face DUI penalties. According to Oklahoma law, you are impaired at the 0.05% level and can still be convicted if you are found guilty for DUI with a BAC of over 0.05%.

    The penalty for driving with a BAC of between 0.05% and 0.08% is a $100 to $500 fine, up to 6 months in jail, or both. Your license will also be suspended as follows:

    • 1st suspension: 30 days.
    • 2nd suspension: 6 months.
    • 3rd suspension: 1 year.

    The previous suspension do not need to be alcohol- or drug-related to effect the suspension for DUI.

    And if it's More Than 0.08%?

    If you are convicted of DUI with a BAC more than 0.08%, the penalties are as follows:

    1st offense:

    • A misdemeanor.
    • Jail time of 10 days to 1 year.
    • Fine up to $1,000.

    2nd offense in 10 years:

    • A felony.
    • Jail time of 1 to 5 years.
    • Fine up to $2,500.

    2nd felony:

    • A felony.
    • Jail time of 1 to 7 years.
    • Fine up to $5,000.

    3rd offense (and subsequent offenses):

    • A felony.
    • Jail time of 1 to 10 years.
    • Fine up to $5,000.

    Once you are convicted of DUI, the 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:

    • 1st revocation: 180 days.
    • 2nd revocation (with prior DUI or drug-related revocation) in 10 years: 1 year.
    • 3rd revocation and subsequent (with prior 2 revocations or more for DUI or drugs) in 10 years: 3 years.

    Other Expenses

    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.

    What About Medicine?

    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.

    Zero Tolerance for Underage Drivers

    As stated above, any amount of alcohol found in the system of a person under 21 years old 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 penalties are as follows:

    • 1st offense:
      • Revocation for 6 months.
      • $100 to $500 fine.
    • 2nd offense:
      • Revocation for 12 months.
      • $100 to $1,000 fine.
    • 3rd offense:
      • Revocation for 36 months.
      • $100 to $1,000 fine.

    In addition to the above revocations and fines, you may also be required to perform community service, attend an alcohol treatment program, or submit to a combination of all of the above.

    Drivers Younger Than 18

    The penalties are ever stricter for people younger than 18 years old. If you fall under this category and are arrested for any crime involving alcohol, even you were not driving a car, you will lose your driving privileges for anywhere between 6 months and 2 years, or until you turn 21 years old, depending on your record and the circumstances.

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