Oklahoma DUI Laws: What Drivers Need to Know
If you decide to drink, it is best to think of a plan to travel that doesn’t include you driving. This is because if you get behind the wheel and you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, you will have exceeded the legal limit for alcohol in your body. In this situation, you are likely going to be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
There are times when having under legal limits for one’s BAC can also result in criminal charges. For instance, an officer who pulls over an erratic driver who has a BAC of .05% or more may face driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges.
Drunk driving is not acceptable nor is it legal. Oklahoma drunk driving laws vary with respect to the types of penalties that a drunk driver may face. This is because there are many different charges that may be assessed depending on the circumstances. Consider the following:
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence (DUI) charges can come with as many as six months in jail as well as a fine of up to $1,200. A driver with no prior history of having a DUI will usually be charged as a misdemeanor as long as the incident did not cause physical bodily harm to others and the driver did not have a minor in their vehicle. In some cases, with effective legal representation, it can be possible for a person with a first-time DUI to avoid a conviction.
A driver with a previous history of DUI or Actual Physical Control (APC) will face harsher penalties and charges. Here, it can be possible to be charged at the felony level. A first felony means a minimum of one year behind bars or as many as five and a fine that can be as high as $2,500. When a second felony is assessed then one may be put behind bars for as long as ten years with fines as high as $5,000. After two felonies, jail time increases considerably and one can find oneself in jail for 20 years.
Actual Physical Control (APC)
The penalties for actual physical control (APC) mirror those of DUI. The difference between APC and DUI is that a driver may not actually have to operate an automobile to be arrested and charged. As long as it can be determined that you have exceeded the legal limit for BAC and you had the ability to operate an automobile, then you may receive an APC charge.
When your BAC is measured to be .15% and higher then the charge will be aggravated DUI. Penalties include the need for an ignition interlock device installed on one’s vehicle, jail time, fines, and possible mandatory treatment.
Driving While Impaired (DWI)
A driving while impaired (DWI) charge comes about when your BAC is under the legal limit of .08% but higher than .05%. This offense will always be charged at the misdemeanor level. Fines and potentially jail time may be punishments that result.
If you were inebriated when you caused a crash, then in addition to criminal penalties, you may also face civil repercussions. The victims of the accident you caused could sue you for financial compensation for their losses.
For assistance and help after a car accident with a drunk driver, please call an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney at the Putnam Law Office at (405) 849-9149 today to schedule a free consultation.