Oklahoma DUI Basics
In Oklahoma, driving under the influence charges can be filed in two different ways. The first of these ways is called under the influence charges where an individual is held on convictions where he or she was driving while intoxicated with alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and drugs. These charges can materialize if an individual is seen to be impaired by intoxicants.
Under impaired charges the prosecuting attorney will present evidence showing that the individual was too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. Evidence often includes field sobriety testing, physical appearance, arresting officer’s testimony, breath tests, urine tests, driving patterns, and blood alcohol content levels. Under impaired charges an individual may not be convicted, even if his or her blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit, if he or she is found unimpaired.
Per se charges are the second way an individual can be convicted of driving under the influence. Per se charges will provide evidence to show that the individual’s blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 percent while he or she was driving, instead of proving he or she was impaired. The prosecuting attorney will simply show an individual’s blood alcohol content test results for a conviction. The legal limit for minors stands at 0.02 percent.
If an individual refuses to take a chemical test when requested by a police officer, he or she will automatically have his or her driver’s license suspended. This suspension will happen whether or not an individual is later convicted. When an individual in the United States obtains a driver’s license, he or she give common consent to submit to chemical testing when requested. When a test is refused, the jury or judge will take into consideration the refusal and infer that the individual is guilty.
When an individual is convicted of a driving under the influence offense in Oklahoma, his or her consequences will be distributed depending on any prior offenses. First-time offenders will receive incarceration up to a year, a fine, alcohol treatment, four hundred eighty hours of community service, driver’s license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Subsequent offenses will result in increased consequences. The circumstances around an arrest can aggravate a sentence, even a first-time offense. If an individual has a blood alcohol content level that exceeds .15 percent, his or her sentence will automatically be increased. Some Oklahoma driving under the influence offenses can earn fines as large as five thousand dollars and incarceration for as much as ten years. Other drunken driving offenses can result in motor vehicle seizure.
Oklahoma, in addition to driving under the influence charges, also has charges called Actual Physical Control charges. These charges mean that an individual may not have been driving a motor vehicle but could have driven. Such charges are often distributed when an individual is intoxicated and in a motor vehicle. Actual Physical Control charges have the same consequences as driving under the influence charges and are seen as equal to such charges.