Oklahoma DUIs and DWIs
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Drivers who commit a DUI violation in Oklahoma are sanctioned with severe penalties administered by both the state Department of Public Safety and the court presiding over the case. Therefore, in addition to a suspended or revoked license issued by the state DPS, motorists charged with driving under the influence (DUI) may also be penalized with steep fines and/or prison sentences. When the department receives notice of a DWI conviction in OK, the conviction will be entered on the driver’s record as well. Learn more about state DUI laws and the consequences of a conviction by reading the sections below.
Oklahoma DUI Citations and Convictions
Drivers will receive an Oklahoma DWI citation if they violate the state implied consent law. Per the provisions of this DUI law, the act of operating a motor vehicle signifies that the driver has automatically agreed to undergo testing for purposes of determining the presence of intoxicants in his or her system. When subjected to a DWI arrest, suspected violators will be requested to take a test to measure their blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Those who refuse to be tested will have their license automatically revoked, regardless of whether or not alcohol or drugs were consumed.
Oklahoma DUI consequences for refusal of testing are similar to those for test failure. The DPS license revocation is administered separately from any penalties that are issued after a court conviction. A DWI conviction may occur even if the motorist was not legally under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Oklahoma Under the Influence Violations and Penalties
Drivers who violate drunk driving laws in Oklahoma are subjected to several types of penalties, which vary based on the circumstances surrounding the offense. For example, the severity of drunk driving charges and the resulting consequences increases proportionally with the amount of BAC in the motorist’s system when he or she committed the offense. Drivers stopped for operating a vehicle with a BAC level of .08 percent or greater will be charged with DUI, whereas motorists who are intoxicated with a BAC of .15 or greater will be charged with aggravated DUI in OK. Repeat offenders are also subject to harsher penalties than first-time offenders.
First DUI Offense
Convictions of first Oklahoma DUI violations are treated as misdemeanors that result in jail sentences of 10 days to 12 months and fines of up to $1,000. First violations of the OK DWI laws also lead to license revocations of 180 days. In these cases, drivers will be required to attend a state-approved alcohol and/or drug assessment program.
Second DUI Offense
Second DWI convictions within 10 years of the first violation are treated as felony offenses that lead to maximum fines of $2,500 and imprisonment sentences of 1 to 5 years. Second DUI violations will also result in 1-year driving license revocations. Second-time offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device and attend an intoxicant abuse evaluation program as well.
Third or Subsequent DUI Offenses
Drivers who commit a third or subsequent DUI violation in Oklahoma within 10 years of the first two are penalized with a 3-year license revocation and a prison term of a maximum of 10 years. Fines for third convictions currently do not exceed the amount of $5,000. Drivers will also be required to attend an assessment and potential treatment program and install an ignition interlock device.
Oklahoma DUI penalties administered to motorists under 21 years old charged with underage DUI are similar to the ones incurred by adult drivers. However, while the driver’s license suspension period issued to young motorists is generally of the same duration, the fine amount is smaller. Also, instead of jail sentences, young licensees are penalized with community service sentences.
Drinking and Driving in Oklahoma
The strictness of the DUI laws in Oklahoma is the result of the contributing role of alcohol and drugs in vehicle collisions that result in the injury or death of drivers and pedestrians. Therefore, to reduce the number of offenses and casualties within the state, law enforcement agencies sanction violations with a combination of penalties. Younger drivers must abide by stricter drunk driving laws in OK, as they are more susceptible to the negative effects of intoxicants on their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Also, the penalties administered to drivers whose intoxication led to the death or injury of other drivers, passengers or pedestrians are much more severe than those issued for standard drunk driving violations.
Oklahoma DUI Attorneys
Due to the severity of the penalties of a DUI conviction, drivers who are facing charges in Oklahoma often seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer. By hiring an Oklahoma drunk driving attorney, drivers may increase their chances of obtaining a favorable outcome regarding their case. In addition to preparing and presenting an adequate DUI defense by taking the circumstances of a case into consideration, a good defense attorney will help a client meet any court-imposed conditions after a conviction. Contact several candidates and inquire about their past experience with similar cases to ensure the best DUI lawyer in OK is on the case.
Oklahoma Open Container Laws
Under Oklahoma impaired driving laws, drivers are not allowed to transport alcoholic beverages while operating a motor vehicle on public roadways unless the beverage container is still sealed or out of reach of the driver. To reduce the risk of committing a DUI offense, drivers must store any open alcoholic containers in a remote compartment that is not accessible while the vehicle is in operation.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Oklahoma
While a DUI drivers license suspension or revocation is in effect, motorists are prohibited from operating their vehicles. Those whose driving privileges were affected by a DUI must ensure that they have satisfied the conditions set forth by both the state DPS and the presiding court prior to initiating the license restoration procedure.
To reinstate a credential that was revoked or suspended as a result of a DUI or DWI conviction, drivers will generally be required to:
- Serve their period of revocation or suspension.
- Install an ignition interlock device (if required).
- Attend an alcohol and/or drug abuse assessment program.
- Appear before a DPS Driver Compliance Hearing Officer (if required).
- Pay the applicable reinstatement fees.
Oklahoma Alcohol Awareness Classes
Motorists convicted of a DUI are generally required to attend DUI classes as a corrective measure imposed by the court that processed their case. By attending a DUI course in OK, drivers will improve their knowledge of the state motor vehicle laws and the effects of alcohol and drugs on their ability to safely operate a vehicle.
To learn whether or not your conviction requires you to attend a specialized DUI traffic school program within the state, contact the state DPS or the presiding court.
Oklahoma Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
To deter drivers from committing DUI offenses in Oklahoma, state law enforcement agencies regulate strict driving laws. Adult drivers operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .08 percent or greater will be subjected to a DWI arrest and charged with a DUI. However, drivers are at risk of DUI penalties in OK even with a BAC level below the legal limit. If the arresting police officer convinces the court that a driver’s ability to drive safely was affected by intoxicants, he or she may still be convicted.
Under DUI laws, adult motorists driving with a BAC over .05 but less than .08 percent are committing an impaired driving offense that leads to lesser penalties than those administered for DUIs.
Note: Motorists younger than 21 years old are prohibited from driving with any measurable amount of alcohol and/or drugs in their systems.
Hardship License in Oklahoma
Drivers with DUI suspended licenses or revoked credentials as a result of a DUI offense may be eligible for a hardship license, which will allow them to resume operating a motor vehicle under limited circumstances. Motorists whose driving privileges were affected by a DUI can request a hardship permit, known as a modified driver license, by meeting with a DPS Driver Compliance Hearing Officer.
Offenders can either choose to contest their license revocation or apply for a hardship license. Drivers who choose to contest their DUI drivers license suspension or revocation and fail will be able to apply for a hardship license by appealing to the county court where the arrest was made.
Applying for a hardship license while a DUI offense-related revocation or suspension in effect is a process that can be initiated by submitting the Request for Hearing or Modified Driver’s License by mail or in person through the corresponding DPS office. Motorists penalized with sanctions other than a license suspension or revocation are ineligible for a modified driver’s license. Drivers who qualify for a hardship license will be required to fill out an application form, pay a modification fee to the OK DPS and install an ignition interlock device.