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In sufficient quantities, alcohol decreases the function of the brain, impairing your reflexes,
reasoning skills and coordination. These effects drastically increase the likelihood of a crash if an
intoxicated person gets behind the wheel. Additionally, certain drugs (even legal prescription
medications) can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Due to these risks, all 50
states have laws that make driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs illegal. Each state
also has its own penalties for DUI or DWI charges. Nevertheless, despite these laws, there are an
estimated 111 million instances of people driving drunk across the US each year, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Oklahoma, then a criminal defense attorney may
be able to help you get those charges reduced or dismissed. Alternatively, a personal injury
lawyer can assist you if you sustained injuries in a drunk driving accident. Consult our local
listings to find legal help near you. Otherwise, feel free to ask the lawyers any questions you may
have regarding DUI laws.
Since drug and/or alcohol intoxication can endanger a driver as well as anyone else on the road,
it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired in all 50 states. Doing so is a criminal
offense variously called Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
and, rarely, Operating Under the Influence (OUI). In Oklahoma, state laws use DUI to refer to
Generally, your level of alcohol impairment is gauged by testing your Blood Alcohol Content
(BAC). This refers to the percentage of alcohol dissolved in your bloodstream. Each state sets its
own limits for what BAC constitutes alcohol impairment, although every state but Utah currently
sets the legal limit at 0.08%. However, this limit may be lower for certain drivers. Oklahoma also
has an additional category of alcohol offenses: Driving While Alcohol Impaired (DWAI), which
occurs if your BAC is between 0.05% and 0.08%.
Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes stricter BAC
limits on commercial drivers. Professional drivers, such as bus and truck drivers, may face DUI
charges for a BAC over 0.04%.
You may also face criminal charges for driving under the influence of drugs. However, it is
much more difficult to determine drug intoxication, as opposed to alcohol. A blood test is usually
the only definitive method for accurately gauging drug intoxication. The difficulty with this
method is that a blood test may take several days to return results; by contract, a breathalyzer test
takes only seconds to determine BAC. As a result, law enforcement may sometimes stop and/or
arrest motorists on suspicion of drugs, even if that person is not intoxicated.
The penalties you may face for DUI or DWAI charges in Oklahoma usually depend on whether
you have a history of similar arrests. Outside of criminal charges, the Oklahoma Division of
Motor Vehicles may suspend you license for any DUI or DWAI. Generally, the potential
criminal penalties are:
● First DWAI. For a first DWAI offense, you may face between two and 180 days in jail, a
fine of $200 to $500, community service for 24 to 48 hours, and/or eight points on your
● Second DWAI. If you get a second DWAI, then you may serve 10 to 365 days of
jailtime. You may also face a fine of $600 to $1,500, between 48 and 120 community
service hours, and/or eight more points on your license.
● Third DWAI. For a third DWAI offense, you must serve a mandatory minimum of 10
days in jail, though the total sentence may be up to one year. You may also pay a fine of
$600 to $1500, serve 48 to 120 hours of community service, and/or get eight more points
on your driving record.
● First DUI. The penalties for a first DUI offense may include five days to one year in jail,
a fine from $600 to $1,000, between 48 and 96 hours of community service, and/or a
suspension of your license for up to nine months. You may also have to take court-
ordered alcohol education classes and may receive up to 12 points on your license for any
● Second DUI. The penalties for a second DUI conviction may include 10 days to one year
in jail, a fine from $600 to $1,500, 48 to 120 hours of community service, and/or a
suspension of you license for up to a year. Additionally, you may have to use an ignition
interlock device (IID) for up to two years after the reinstatement of your license.
● Third DUI. A third DUI Conviction may result in 10 days to one year in jail, a fine from
$600 to $1,500, 48 to 120 hours of community service, and/or a suspension of you license
for up to two years. Additionally, you may have to use an ignition interlock device (IID)
for up to two years after the reinstatement of your license.
● Felony DUI or DWAI. Any DUI or DWAI arrest after in excess of three automatically
results in felony charges. The consequences of a felony DUI conviction may include a
fine between $2,000 and $500,000, between two and six years in state prison and three
years of mandatory parole.
Despite comprehensive DUI laws, thousands of alcohol-related car accidents still occur in
Oklahoma every year. Some of the most important drugged and drunk driving statistics include:
● In the United States, the death rate overall is 3.3 people. Oklahoma's is much higher at
● From 2003 through 2012, there were 2,205 people who were killed in drunk driving
accidents in Oklahoma.
● In 2015, while Oklahoma drunk driving statistics indicate that the majority (a little over
one-third) of alcohol-related crashes happen in dark, unlit conditions, 33 percent of DUI
crashes happen in broad daylight.
● Men are more likely to die in a drunk driving accident. Nationally, the death rate for men
is 5.2. It is 9.3 for Oklahoma. For women, it is 1.9 in Oklahoma and 1.5 nationally.
In many cases, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you reduce the impact of DUI
charges on your life. If you have questions or concerns about DUI defense laws, then do not hesitate to
ask the lawyers. Otherwise, if you need to speak with a lawyer, then consult our local Oklahoma