When Is It Too Much?
In Oklahoma, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-902. The law also prohibits any combination of intoxicating substances that can affect driving. This could include alcohol, marijuana, any illegal drug or prescription medications. The law also prohibits over-the-counter medications if the side effects cause drowsiness or interfere with your ability to drive safely. Ingestion of any controlled substance is sufficient for a conviction of driving under the influence. The fact that you may be legally entitled to use a substance is not a defense to this statute. Oklahoma is a zero-tolerance state in that regard.
Oklahoma is also an implied consent state. That means that if you are pulled over by a police officer and asked to take a sobriety test, you must do so. If you refuse testing when asked by a police officer or other officer of the law, your license will be automatically revoked.
Penalties Increase With Each Conviction
The penalties for driving under the influence increase with each offense. The first conviction is a misdemeanor. But even on a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to jail time from as little as 10 days to as long as one year, and may be fined to pay as much as $1,000. In addition, if convicted, you will be subject to an alcohol and drug assessment and evaluation conducted with the evaluating for treatment and prognosis recommendations. This evaluation is submitted to the court.
The court has the discretion to order you to follow all recommendations contained in the report as a condition for any deferred or suspended sentence. This could include counseling, drug and alcohol classes, and attendance at AA meetings or another treatment program. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-902.
A second conviction within 10 years of the end of any previous deferred sentence, suspended sentence or completion of jail time will subject you to a felony conviction and possible prison term from as little as one year to as many as five years. And you could be fined as much as $2,500 and be required to undergo an evaluation for treatment.
Conviction of a third DUI offense, or second felony conviction within 10 years in Oklahoma, can result in prison time from as little as one year to as many as 10 years. Also, you may be fined as much as $5,000 and required to serve as many as 480 hours of community service. If convicted, you will be required to participate in all court-ordered treatment at your own expense. Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 11-902.
In addition, your license may be suspended or for up to three years. Once your license is reinstated, it is likely that you will be required to use an ignition lock system in your car. It acts like a breathalyzer and will not unlock the ignition to your car if it detects alcohol on your breath.
Driving Under the Influence Defenses
There are defenses to driving under the influence that may be available to you depending on the circumstances. In order for the evidence collected at a DUI stop to be legally admissible, the officer who pulled you over must have had legal cause to do so. Otherwise, the stop and all evidence collected from it are inadmissible.
In some cases, it is possible to challenge the chemical test administered. Sometimes the sample sits too long or is handled poorly during collection and transportation. Likewise, marijuana leaves traces of THC in the body for as long as 30 days after use. A chemical test can detect the THC but not when it was ingested. Any of these will provide a defense.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence in Wagoner, Oklahoma, do not talk to the police. Instead, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Wagoner criminal defense lawyer can help defend you and answer your questions and concerns.
Call for a Free Consultation With An Experienced Wagoner Criminal Attorney
We are on your side. When you need help, all you need to do is call. For a free consultation with a Wagoner, Oklahoma criminal lawyer, call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at (918) 485-0335 (or toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law). Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.