Oklahoma’s DUI laws can be confusing, as the state differentiates between DUI and DWI charges and has other provisions that are not easy to understand at first glance. Below is a quick guide to Oklahoma’s DUI laws and how an attorney can help you with your criminal charge.

Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, you are not permitted to operate a vehicle—or be in actual physical control of it—if you:

  • are under the influence of alcohol or another Schedule I substance (i.e. heroin)
  • have a BAC level of 0.08 or higher
  • are under the influence of any intoxicating substance that renders you unsafe to drive

Unlike other states, Oklahoma distinguishes between DWIs and DUIs. You are charged with a DWI if you test with a BAC level over 0.05 but under 0.08. There must be evidence your ability to drive was affected by the alcohol in your system and that you were a threat to public health and safety as well.

DUIs, on the other hand, are characterized by a BAC level of 0.08 at the time you were pulled over—or within two hours after your arrest. If you drive a commercial vehicle, your legal limit is reduced to 0.04.

Testing with a BAC of 0.15 or greater results in an aggravated DUI and carries harsher penalties. These are discussed below.

Implied Consent Laws in Oklahoma

Under Oklahoma law, if you are driving a motor vehicle on public roads, highways or streets, it is implied that you have given consent to blood alcohol testing. In certain circumstances—such as if you were unconscious when the officer pulled you over—testing may still be administered.

Though it is implied you have given consent to BAC testing, you still have the option to refuse–with consequences. If you refuse, your license is automatically suspended for six months, and you must drive with an ignition interlock device for 18 months following your suspension. Your refusal to take a BAC test can also be used against you in court as evidence.

DUI Penalties in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has strict DUI penalties to be aware of. Below is a chart outlining the general penalties for first, second and third DUI offenses. DUI charges that occur within 10 years of a prior offense are considered to be a second or third offense, depending on how many were committed prior.

There are a number of factors that contribute to harsher penalties, known as aggravating factors. These include:

  • BAC level of 0.15 or more. If you have a BAC of 0.15 or more upon arrest, you have committedan aggravated DUI. This means you must install an ignition interlock device for 90 days and undergo at least one year of supervision and testing for at least one year—all at your expense.
  • Driving a minor. The fines for committing a DUI while a minor is a passenger are doubled.
  • Former convictions. If you have previously been convicted of manslaughter while driving under the influence or second-degree murder involving a DUI, your penalties are substantially increased. Your fine is increased up to $10,000, and your jail time is bumped to at least five years up to a maximum of 10.

For minors, Oklahoma has a strict no-tolerance policy under the Drunk Driving Prevention Act. Minors who are found with any alcohol in their system could face fines up to $500, 20 hours of community service and mandatory treatment programs for a first offense. Second offenders face 240 hours of community service, fines of up to $1,000, and an IID installation for at least 30 days.

What To Expect After a DUI Arrest in Oklahoma

Once arrested, a Tulsa police officer will escort you to the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center. The officer will present their arrest report to staff there, and your information will be added to their system. Depending on your situation, you may be asked to perform a breathalyzer and chemical sobriety test at the station as well.

Once your personal information is taken, you are read the charges against you and your pictures and fingerprints are also taken. After this, you may make phone calls to arrange for bond payment—where applicable—or get in touch with your attorney and family. The police may interview you further to assess your condition and arrange for your housing in the facility.

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Last Update: July 2, 2024

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