Alcohol Offenses

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Oklahoma DUI Lawyer

Alcohol-related offenses are among the most common in the State of Oklahoma.  The legal consequences for these offenses can be devastating and life-altering (imprisonment, fines, loss of driver’s license, loss of employment, increase in insurance premiums, etc.).  The following is a list of the most common alcohol offenses (the penalties of which vary depending on prior offenses):

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

This offense occurs when you are stopped for driving and you are either

  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol OR
  • Your breath/blood test registers .08% breath/blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher OR
  • You refuse the breath/blood test

Punishment:

  • District Court: Fines up to $1,000.00 and/or one (1) year in county jail.
  • Prior Convictions: If you have a prior conviction for DUI from a court of record (District Court, Oklahoma City Municipal Court, Tulsa Municipal Court) within ten (10) years of the current DUI charge, the State of Oklahoma may charge you with felony DUI.  The penalties for felony DUI range from one (1) year to twenty (20) years in the state penitentiary and fines up to $7,500.00.
  • OKC Municipal Court: Fines up to $1,200.00 and/or six (6) months in county jail.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Under 21

This offense occurs when you are stopped for driving and you are either:

  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol OR
  • Your breath/blood test registers .02% BAC or higher

Punishment:

  • Fine and community service only.
  • Conviction cannot be used later to enhance subsequent DUI to felony.

Aggravated DUI

This occurs when you are stopped for driving and your breath/blood test registers .15% BAC or higher.

Punishment

If convicted (does not apply if the defendant receives a deferred sentence), the offender faces up to one (1) year in county jail and/or fines up to $1,000.  In addition, it’s mandatory that ALL offenders (applies to first offenders):

  • Complete an in-patient alcohol treatment program for a minimum period of twenty-eight (28) days
  • Complete a one (1) year aftercare probation period
  • Perform 480 hours of community service
  • Install an interlock device on all vehicles for a minimum of thirty (30) days

Driving While Impaired (DWI)

This occurs when you are stopped for driving and your alcohol level is more than .05% but less than .08% BAC.

Punishment

  • District Court: Fines up to $500.00 and/or six (6) months in county jail and courts costs and an alcohol assessment fee.
  • OKC Municipal Court: Fines up to $1,200.00 and/or six (6) months in county jail and court costs and fees.

Actual Physical Control (APC)

If you are merely in a vehicle and under the influence you may be charged with APC.

Punishment

  • District Court: Fines up to $1,000.00 and/or one (1) year in county jail.
  • OKC Municipal Court: Fines up to $1,200.00 and/or six (6) months in county jail.

Consumption/Possession of Alcohol by Minor (MIP)

This offense occurs if you are under twenty-one (21) years of age and consume or possess an alcoholic beverage containing more than three and two-tenths percent (3.2%) alcohol while upon any public street, road, or highway or in any public building or place.

Punishment

  • Fines up to $100.00 and/or thirty (30) days in county jail.

Child Endangerment: Title 21, Section 852.1

Pursuant to Title 21, Section 852.1 (2009 legislation), it is now a felony to have a child in your car if you are operating your vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another intoxicating substance.  Further, the non-driving parent may also be charged under the same statute if the parent knew or should have known that the driver was impaired by or is under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance.

Punishment

  • Incarceration up to four (4) years in state penitentiary AND/OR
  • Fine up to $5,000.00

The Driver’s License Case

We all depend upon our driver’s license for transportation and, for certain occupations, to make a living.  Thus, an arrest and/or conviction for an alcohol offense can make life very difficult.  If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, DWI, or APC, you face the revocation of your driver’s license (in addition to the criminal case).

The Department of Public Safety may revoke your driver’s license for a period of six (6) months to three (3) years if:

  • Your test registers .08% BAC or higher (or .02% BAC or higher if under 21) OR
  • You refuse the test

In order to contest the revocation of your driver’s license, you MUST request a hearing before the Department of Public Safety within fifteen (15) days of your arrest.  If you fail to request this hearing, your license will be automatically suspended thirty (30) days after your arrest and you forfeit your opportunity to contest the revocation.  Furthermore, your driving record will reflect the revocation for the rest of your life.

If your driver’s license has been revoked by DPS for a period of six (6) months, you may obtain a modified license which will allow you to drive during the pendency of your revocation period.  The modified license applies only to Class D licenses and necessitates the installation of an ignition interlock device on every vehicle you will be driving in addition to fees such as the cost of the installation and $150.00 made payable to DPS.  It should be noted that only six (6) month revocations are eligible for the modified license.  Any other revocation in excess of six (6) months results in (a) suspension of all driving privileges during the revocation and (b) ineligibility for modified license.  Effective November 1, 2011, if you have prior license revocations, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for up to eight (8) years.

The Driver License Compact

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, DWI, or APC in Oklahoma and you are a citizen of another state, your ability to drive in your home state may be affected.  The State of Oklahoma is a member of the Driver License Compact, an interstate compact used by participating states to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the home state where they are licensed.  If you are arrested for DUI, DWI, or APC, the home state would treat the offense as if it had been committed at home, applying home state laws to the out-of-state offense.  All states are members except for Michigan, Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

If you have been arrested for DUI, DWI, APC, or MIP, it’s vital that you immediately retain an attorney who will fight the State and DPS to ensure that your rights and driver’s license are protected.  Time is of the essence!!  Contact Elliott C. Crawford for your initial consultation.