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The Oklahoma DUI Guide
Tulsa | Oklahoma City
Driving While Impaired
Actual Physical Control
Administrative License Revocation
I just got arrested for a State of Oklahoma DUI charge. What happens next?
ISSUE ONE: The Oklahoma Implied Consent / Administrative License Revocation Proceeding: Under Oklahoma law, any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the roadways within the State of Oklahoma shall be deemed to have given consent to a test or tests of such person’s blood or breath, for the purpose of determining the alcohol concentration and such person’s blood, saliva or urine for determining the presence or concentration of any other intoxicating substance therein if arrested for any DUI offense.
Pursuant to Oklahoma's implied consent law, your Oklahoma drivers license (or your right to drive in Oklahoma if you're not a Oklahoma licensed driver) was most likely suspended for anywhere from 180 days to three years for failing or refusing a chemical (breath / blood) test depending on your DUI history. This suspension typically starts on the 30th day following your arrest.
Read your paperwork carefully. If you act within quickly (typically within 15 days) you can request an appeal from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to challenge the proposed suspension. If you make a timely request for a hearing, you will receive a temporary license (assuming that you had a valid Oklahoma license at the time of your arrest) that is good until a decision on your hearing is made.
Speak to your Oklahoma DUI attorney for more information about contesting your administrative (implied consent) license suspension.
ISSUE TWO: The Oklahoma DWI / DUI / Aggravated DUI Criminal Case: Separate from the administrative license proceeding is the criminal charge either for driving under the influence (DUI) or aggravated DUI or driving while impaired (DWI).
DUI. Under Oklahoma law, it is unlawful for you to drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within the State of Oklahoma if you:
1. Have a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more at the time of a test of your blood or breath administered within two hours after your arrest;
2. Are under the influence of alcohol;
3. Are under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol which may render you incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle; or
4. Are under the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance which may render you incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle.
Aggravated DUI. If you are convicted of a violation of driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more you are deemed guilty of aggravated driving under the influence.
DWI. It is also unlawful for you to operate a motor vehicle while your ability to operate such motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol, or any other substance, other than alcohol, which is capable of being ingested, inhaled, injected or absorbed into the human body and is capable of adversely affecting the central nervous system, vision, hearing or other sensory or motor functions. This charge is frequently referred to as operating / driving while impaired or DWI. It is commonly seen if your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08 percent.
Important: The implied consent / administrative license revocation proceeding
and the criminal DUI case are completely separate from one another.
Important: The implied consent / administrative license revocation proceeding and the criminal DUI case are completely separate from one another.
Will my Oklahoma driver license be suspended or revoked?
RELATED TO ISSUE ONE ABOVE: Your Oklahoma driver license (or your right to drive in Oklahoma if you do not have a valid Oklahoma license) may be suspended in the implied consent proceeding for refusing a chemical test for alcohol and / or drugs. This suspension is for 180 days for a first offense and longer for a second offense.
Again, you may challenge this proposed suspension in an administrative hearing this revocation if the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety receives your request within 15 days of your arrest.
RELATED TO ISSUE TWO ABOVE: If you are convicted of the DWI / DUI charge, your Oklahoma license (or your right to drive in Oklahoma if you don't have a valid license) will also be suspended for one to six months for a first conviction (depending on your BAC).Refer to the table below.
The Department of Public Safety will not additionally revoke your driving privileges if your privileges have already been suspended because of a BAC failure or refusal arising from the same incident which resulted in the conviction unless the implied consent suspension is set aside.
What happens if I get caught driving while my license is revoked?
Driving while your license is suspended or revoked for a test failure or refusal or a DUI conviction should be avoided, as it is a separate misdemeanor offense. Penalties include possible jail time, fines, and an additional license suspension.
I really need to drive. Will I be able to get a modified license / work permit / occupational / conditional / probationary permit?
If you're convicted of the first time DUI charge you may be eligible for a modified license provided that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Speak to your DUI lawyer about whether you qualify for a modified license and whether you want to apply for the modified license.
What is the difference between a DUI, DWI, OWI, OUI etc.?
These terms are all acronyms that refer to the crime commonly known as "drunk driving." Different states have different names for the crime. For example, in Michigan the acronym OWI (operating while impaired / intoxicated) is used; in Oregon the term DUII (driving under the influence of an intoxicant) is used; Texas and other states use the term DWI (driving while intoxicated).
Oklahoma law refers to: driving under the influence (DUI) and actual physical control (APC) for the standard charge. The term aggravated DUI is used for a standard DUI with a BAC of 0.15% or greater. The term operating / driving while impaired (DWI) is used for the lesser type offense.
Is a DUI offense in Oklahoma a misdemeanor or felony charge?
In Oklahoma, a first DUI conviction within a 10 year period is a misdemeanor charge. If you have a prior DUI conviction in a court of record within the past 10 years, a second DUI is a felony offense.
What type of penalties might I face if I am convicted of an Oklahoma DUI / Aggravated DUI / DWI charge?
Upon conviction of an Oklahoma drunk driving offense, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties including an alcohol / drug assessment; victims panel class; treatment / DUI school. A range of penalties is set forth below:
Will my defense lawyer be able to plea bargain / negotiate my Oklahoma DUI / APC charge down to another (lesser) offense?
Possibly. Unlike some states, there is no anti-plea bargaining statute in the State of Oklahoma. Depending on your circumstances and criminal history, you lawyer may be able to negotiate plea to a non-DUI charge such as reckless driving or negotiate a deferral / deferment that can result in your charge being dismissed.
Will a Oklahoma DUI / DWI conviction go on "my driving record?"
Yes. A DUI / APC conviction will go on your Oklahoma driving record and remain indefinitely. However, most entries over three years old will not be provided on a record request.
Just how much jail / prison time will I have to do if I am convicted of a DUI in Oklahoma?
The amount of jail time received will depend on a number of different factors, including (but not limited to) the following:
• your prior driving record especially your DUI / DWI / APC history (including any DUI's / DWI's outside of Oklahoma);
• your level of intoxication / blood alcohol content (a BAC of 0.15 % or greater results in an aggravated DUI);
• whether there was an accident / collision involved;
• whether there was injury (especially serious injury) to another person;
• which Oklahoma municipal court or district court your case is in;
• which judge sentences you;
• whether there was a passenger especially a child in your car.
I am licensed to drive in a state other than Oklahoma and I was cited for a DUI / APC in Oklahoma. Will my driver license be revoked or suspended?
Oklahoma only has the authority to revoke your right to drive in the State of Oklahoma. However, Oklahoma and 44 other states and Washington D.C. have adopted an agreement known as the "Driver License Compact." Oklahoma will report a driving under the influence conviction to the home state of the driver (assuming the home state has also adopted the Compact). Your home state will then generally take action to suspend or revoke your drivers license.
This also works in reverse. If you are an Oklahoma licensed driver and you are convicted of a DUI / OWI / DWI / OVI in another state, Oklahoma will revoke your license if it learns of your conviction.
Will I have to install an Ignition Interlock Device on my car?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath alcohol measurement device that is connected to a motor vehicle ignition system. In order to start the vehicle, a driver must blow a breath sample into the IID which then measures alcohol concentration. The IID also requires periodic re-tests while driving the vehicle.
Oklahoma requires the installation of an IID under a number of different scenarios. Speak to your DUI lawyer about whether you will have to install an ignition interlock device based upon your individual circumstances.
What will a Oklahoma DUI do to my ability to keep my liability insurance?
If your insurance company finds out about your DUI / DWI conviction one of two things are likely to happen. Either your Oklahoma insurance company will raise your rates or your policy could be cancelled or not renewed.
What is an SR-22 Filing?
An SR-22 is a certificate of proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) submitted by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Oklahoma. Oklahoma does not require an SR-22 filing for a DUI / DWI / APC conviction. However, many states do have this requirement.
Are there special concerns for licensed pilots who get an Oklahoma DUI?
Yes. The FAA has special reporting requirements for certain Motor Vehicle Actions including Oklahoma APC / DUI convictions and implied consent license suspensions. Learn more about the FAA requirementhere.
I missed my DUI criminal court appearance. What do I do now?
Failing to appear (FTA) for court is to be avoided. When you miss a Oklahoma court appearance, bad things follow. At a minimum, the Oklahoma court typically issues a summons or warrant for your arrest (sometimes known as a bench warrant). You may also face a new, additional criminal charge. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Sometimes, your only option is to turn yourself in on the outstanding warrant. A new court date will then be scheduled for you.
Can I represent myself in court on my Oklahoma DUI / APC / DWI or other charge(s)?
Yes. You have an absolute constitutional right to represent yourself on any criminal charge no matter how serious including an Oklahoma DUI. Keep in mind that DUI / DWI / APC defense is a complicated area of the law as shown by the information in this website. If you cannot afford to hire your own attorney, you definitely should apply for a court appointed attorney. You have no right to court appointed counsel at any administrative license suspension hearing.
Copyright 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 by David N Lesh
Websites, including this one, provide general Oklahoma DUI information but do not provide legal advice or create a lawyer / client relationship. General information cannot replace legal advice about your case, criminal charge, or situation. Consult qualified Oklahoma Drunk Driving attorneys for advice about any specific problem or Oklahoma drunk driving charge that you have. Oklahoma attorneys are governed by the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct. This website may be considered an advertisement for services under these Rules. Information contained in this website is believed to be accurate but is not warranted or guaranteed in any way. No attorney associated with this website is specialized or board certified in any way.
Providing drunk driving and criminal defense representation to the communities of: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman, Lawton, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa County. Oklahoma lawyers may accept credit cards.
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