Driving while intoxicated (DWI) (also referred to as "driving under the influence (DUI)") is a serious offense in Oklahoma that is committed when a driver operates a car while impaired by an intoxicating substance. This article provides a brief overview of Oklahoma's DUI laws and penalties.
Driving Under the Influence in Oklahoma
It is a crime to drive, operate, or to be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within Oklahoma under any of the following circumstances:
- With a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% or more within two hours of being arrested
- While under the influence of alcohol
- With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in the driver's blood, saliva, urine, or any other bodily fluid within two house of being arrested
- While under the influence of any intoxicating substance, other than alcohol, that may render a person incapable of driving safely, or
- While under the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance that may render a person incapable of driving safely
The penalties in Oklahoma for driving under the influence vary depending on whether it is the driver's first offense or if they are a repeat offender. An offender can be convicted of either a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI. Typically, sanctions are made up of all or some of the punishments listed below, but specific sentencing guidelines can be found in the Oklahoma Code section 47-11-902:
- Participate in an assessment and evaluation (and follow all recommendations made)
- Community service
- Installation of an ignition lock on the offender's vehicle
- Supervision and periodic testing
- Imprisonment for anywhere between ten days and 20 years, and/or
- A fine of up to $5,000
Aggravated Driving Under the Influence
In Oklahoma, any person convicted of driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.15% or more is guilty of aggravated driving under the influence. Because this crime is considered to be more egregious then a standard DUI, there are increased penalties for offenders who are convicted of the aggravated offense. In addition too participating in an assessment and evaluation, and complying with all recommendations for treatment, the offender will also be sentenced to the following punishments (in addition to the possible punishments outlined above):
- At least one year of supervision and periodic testing, and
- An ignition interlock device must be installed on his or her vehicle for at least 90 days.
Increased Penalties for Driving Under the Influence With a Child in the Vehicle
If an adult driver (18 years old or older) is convicted of driving while intoxicated with a minor (who is less than 18 years old) in the vehicle, then the offender's fine will be doubled (in addition to any other penalties that the court sentences him to).
Ignition Interlock Devices
It is common practice for the court to require repeat DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. An ignition interlock device (IID) prevents a vehicle from turning on unless the driver has a BAC of 0.02% or less.
In Oklahoma it is a crime to knowingly authorize or permit an offender who is required to use an ignition interlock device to drive a vehicle that doesn't have an IID installed. Additionally, it is also a crime to disable, or attempt to disable, an ignition interlock device unless you're properly certified to do so. Violators of these laws are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine of up to $500 and/or by imprisonment for up to six months.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Oklahoma's DWI laws contact a local DUI/DWI attorney.