Oklahoma Drunk Driving Laws
If you are driving at excessive speeds, changed lanes erratically, or did something else to catch law enforcement’s attention, you’d better be prepared to submit to a chemical test for intoxication in Oklahoma. If you’ve had too much to drink, and choose to drive, you can face serious penalties under Oklahoma’s drunk driving laws.
Understanding how Oklahoma handles drunk driving can help you find the right Oklahoma DUI defense attorney to help resolve your case.
Oklahoma Drunk Driving Laws
Oklahoma law prohibits driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle on a public or private road while under the influence of alcohol or having a BAC of .08% or greater within two hours of their arrest. A person may be charged with a DUI when alcohol consumption leaves the person incapable of driving or operating a vehicle safely.
Commercial drivers are considered under the influence with a BAC of .04% or more. Oklahoma underage drinking and driving laws prohibit drivers under 21 years old from having any amount of alcohol in their system.
Regular drivers with a BAC of .05% but less than .08% can still be charged with a crime. Oklahoma has a separate offense of driving while impaired for drivers with this lower BAC while driving in a way that threatens public safety.
Implied Consent: Yes
Enhanced Penalties: A BAC of .18% or more; driving with a child in the car; prior convictions; an accident causing injury or death
Typically, the first offense is a misdemeanor with penalties such as an alcohol assessment or community service. Other penalties depend on the number of prior convictions including:
- First offense: imprisonment for not less than 10 days and no more than up to 1 year; a $1,000 fine; a 180-day license suspension
A second conviction or more within 10 years is a felony offense. A DUI that causes serious injuries or the death of another person or driving with a child in the vehicle are also felonies that can have more serious penalties. A felony DUI conviction, that does not include any aggravating factors, includes penalties such as:
- Second offense: 1 to 5 years imprisonment; a $2,500 fine; a 1-year license suspension
- Third offense or more: 1 to 10 years of imprisonment; a $5,000 fine; a 3-year license suspension
Some drivers may be eligible for a modified license by entering Oklahoma’s Impaired Driver Accountability Program. This program allows a driver to regain limited driving privileges by using an ignition interlock device (IID).
Impaired Driving in Oklahoma
If you’re driving on Oklahoma roads, you’ve given your implied consent to take a chemical test to determine if you are impaired. If an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you were operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you can be required to take a chemical test.
Oklahoma has a 10-year “washout” period for determining multiple DUIs. This means that if you were convicted of a DUI 12 years ago, the penalty for your current DUI charge will likely be the same as it is for a first DUI offense.
After an Oklahoma DUI Arrest
It is important to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Oklahoma’s specific DUI laws so they can help you decide how to handle your case. Your Oklahoma DUI defense attorney may be able to get lower penalties with a plea agreement or fight the charges by taking your case to a jury trial.