Throughout the nation, law enforcement has been clamping down on drunk drivers and those driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Knowing your rights and the Oklahoma DUI laws can make of difference of keeping your license or having it suspended. It’s important that drivers know their options and what to expect if they’re charged with a DUI in Oklahoma. Learn everything you need to know about Oklahoma DUI laws and how they can affect you.
Oklahoma DUI Laws
What Is the Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit?
Law enforcement typically determines a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit with a breathalyzer test. This test measures a driver’s BAC as the percent of alcohol that is in the individual’s bloodstream. The BAC limit in Oklahoma varies by different factors. Below are the BAC limits in Oklahoma.
• 0.08 percent for drivers 21 years or older.
• 0.04 percent for drivers with a CDL.
• Any percent of alcohol for drivers under the age of 21.
Oklahoma drivers may be penalized even if they fall under the BAC limits if it appears that they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the Oklahoma Division of Motor Vehicle.
What Happens If I Get Pulled Over?
If you are pulled over for any reason, the officer will ask to see your driver’s license, registration and proof of auto insurance. If the officer believes that you were driving under the influence, the officer may request that you submit to either a breath test or a blood test. You have the right to refuse the test. If you choose to take the test, it must be taken within two of hours, according to Oklahoma DUI laws.
The test results, along with an Affidavit and Notice of Revocation/Disqualification, are sent to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) where the test is analyzed. The affidavit provides information on your arrest. It informs you that your driver’s license may be revoked or suspending pending test results.
Can I Refuse the BAC Test?
When Oklahoma drivers get their driver’s licenses, they sign what is known as an “Implied Consent” law. The law states that they will submit to DUI testing if an officer believes they have been driving while under the influence. Even if you’re not actually driving the car at the time the officer approaches you, you may still be required to submit to DUI testing if the officer believes you have been driving under the influence.
Many drivers believe they can drive a few miles, stop and take a nap to sleep it off and not be charged with a DUI. Oklahoma DUI laws state this is not the case.
What Happens If I Refuse It?
Although you may refuse to take the breath or blood test, the officer will send the Affidavit and Notice of Revocation/Disqualification; you may still be charged with a DUI. Refusing to take the test will also result in automatic revocation of your driver’s license.
Depending on your driving record at the time of the arrest, this revocation may last from six months to three years. Being found guilty of a DUI will result in penalties that are in addition to the penalties
Can I Plead “Wet Reckless”?
Like many other states, Oklahoma DUI laws may allow drivers to plea bargain and take a wet reckless charge. With a wet reckless charge, you’ll be charged with a lesser violation like reckless driving as opposed to a DUI. The benefit of a wet reckless charge is that it comes with fewer penalties and less jail time. However, it will still show up on your driving record.
What Are the Penalties I Should Expect?
If charged with a DUI, you will be charged with administrative penalties as well as penalties resulting from criminal charges. The penalties are based on your BAC and driving record. They can be as simple as a 30-day suspension and $100 fine or a 3-year suspension and up to seven years in jail. In addition to the DUI penalties and fines, drivers violating Oklahoma DUI laws also pay money in court costs and fees.
First Offense DUI
If you are facing your first DUI, the penalties will be determined based on several factors. This also includes prior convictions if you submitted to a BAC test. Another factor is if the DUI involved an accident particularly a fatal accident.
If you have a BAC of more 0.08 percent or higher, you can get from ten days to one year in jail; six-month license suspension and up to $1,000 in fines. You may also be required to attend an Alcohol and Drug Assessment and Evaluation program. The first DUI is a misdemeanor charge. If you’re under 21, you’ll face a six-month license suspension.
Second Offense DUI
If in addition to being charged with a felony, your second DUI in ten years along with a BAC of 0.08 or higher can get your license revoked for one year. You can also face one to five years in jail and fines up to $2,500. Drug and alcohol counseling may also be part of the penalties whether it’s the first or fourth DUI. A driver under 21 may lose his or her license for a year.
Third Offense DUI
Also resulting in a felony charge, the third DUI in ten years results in a three-year license, revocation, jail for one to seven years and up to $5,000 in fines. Drivers may also be required to have an Ignition Interlock system installed in their cars. A driver under 21 may lose his or her license for three years.
Fourth Offense DUI
If you’ve been unlucky enough to receive your fourth DUI, you’ll be facing the same penalties and fines as you did for your third DUI. Once again, your BAC and your willingness to take the BAC test may affect these fines and penalties.
Have you or a family member or friend been charged with a DUI? Do you find the DUI laws to be confusing? If so, you’re not alone. Although being charged with a DUI in Oklahoma may seem very scary and nerve-wracking, you may still have options regarding your driving privileges.
Being informed on current driving laws can be very beneficial. This overview of DUI laws should help you better understand Oklahoma laws so you can continue to safely drive the friendly streets of Oklahoma!