Driving under the influence (DUI) is a relatively common, but serious charge in Oklahoma. Furthermore, navigating through the process of a DUI arrest can be an extremely complicated endeavor on a multitude of levels.
Have you recently been charged with a DUI offense? Keep reading to learn essential information about what you can expect as you go through the legal process.
What is implied consent?
The state of Oklahoma is among the strictest in the nation when it comes to DUI laws — an aspect clearly evident with the state’s implied consent law. Implied consent in Oklahoma means that by operating a vehicle, you have given consent to have your blood, saliva, urine, or breath tested for alcohol or other substances.
If an officer has arrested you for a DUI and has probable cause to believe you are under the influence, you have legally consented to a test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). As for the probable cause part, this applies to any circumstance where an officer believes a driver to be impaired, whether that’s from observing erratic driving prior to pulling the driver over or sensing alcohol on the driver’s breath after they’ve been pulled over for a different reason.
It is a crime to refuse the test. If the results come back at .08 BAC or higher, you are legally under the influence and subject to arrest.
Penalties for refusing a BAC test in Oklahoma
The penalties for refusing to submit to a BAC can be severe. First-time offenders can expect their driver’s license to be suspended for six months, along with a mandate to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) at their own expense for 18 months. These devices require the driver to breathe into an apparatus that will disable the vehicle’s ignition if it detects a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit.
Second-time offenders can expect their driver’s license to be automatically suspended for a year.
It’s important to note that law enforcement officers cannot make you submit to a test unless you have been involved in a wreck causing serious injury. The officer must also formally inform you that your license will indeed be suspended if you refuse to take a test. You should also be aware that refusing a test will not necessarily help you in avoiding a DUI conviction, as the refusal will be put into the record and used against you in court.
What first-time offenders can expect if convicted of a DUI in Oklahoma
If convicted, first-time DUI offenders could face anywhere from 10 days to one year in jail, dependent on certain aggravating factors and prior arrest history. Punishments may be stricter if BAC is 0.15 or above (the threshold for aggravated DUI), or if you refused the BAC during the arrest.
Resulting fines can also range between $500 and $1,000 and are accompanied by the suspension of your driver’s license from 30 to 180 days. The judge may also require you to receive substance abuse treatment, attend NA/AA meetings, or attend a Victim Impact Panel. Furthermore, if you are eventually charged with a second or subsequent DUI within ten years of your first offense, you may be charged with felony DUI.
Don’t face your DUI charges alone
Experienced legal representation can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your DUI case. Overman Legal Group, PLLC is a uniquely modern criminal defense and civil law firm that provides personalized service through a team of dedicated and award-winning attorneys who will always utilize every last resource on your behalf.
Don’t face your DUI charges alone. Align yourself with an experienced team of attorneys with extensive expertise in DUI defense — and a proven record of success.