Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving kills more than 10,000 persons annually. That’s one death every 58 minutes. Here in Oklahoma, in 2022, there were 655 traffic fatalities.178 (27%) of them were alcohol-related.
Oklahoma takes its traffic laws very seriously and has several statutes related to impaired driving. You can be charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Impaired), APC (Actual Physical Control), child endangerment due to DUI, or manslaughter resulting from any of these offenses.
If you’re facing any of these charges, getting the help of an attorney is crucial. Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Handley Law Center. We represent people throughout Canadian County, Oklahoma, and will help you exercise your rights and pursue the best possible outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding DUIs in Oklahoma
In dealing with clients through the years who are facing a DUI arrest or charge, we’ve observed that most have misconceptions or partial understanding of the laws and legal processes in place. Here are some of the more common, of those, with clarifications:
Can I refuse a breath or blood test if pulled over on suspicion of a DUI?
In Oklahoma, driving is seen as a privilege, not a right, just like in other states. So when you get your driver's license, it means you agree to follow the traffic laws and other rules. This is called "implied consent." As a result, if you're asked, you usually have to take a breathalyzer test.
If you say no to the breathalyzer test, the authorities can start the process of taking away your driving privileges. You have 30 days to try to fight against this revocation. If you're not successful, your license could be suspended for a period of six months to three years.
If they want to do a blood test instead, they will need to bring you somewhere to get it done. According to the Fourth Amendment, they have to get a warrant from a judge before they can take your blood.
If I’ve been charged with a DUI, will I go to jail?
Going to jail because of a DUI depends on many factors. To receive a DUI charge, your blood alcohol content (BAC) has to be at least 0.08 percent. If your BAC is 0.06 or 0.07 percent, that would constitute a DWI.
A first-time DUI offense is generally charged as a misdemeanor. The potential penalties include:
10 days-one year in jail,
a fine of up to $1,000, and
a driver’s license revocation for six months.
A second offense raises the penalty bar—with possible jail time of one to five years and a fine of up to $2,500, along with a license revocation of up to a year and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle.
However, jail time can be suspended and even the whole sentence deferred. On a first-time DUI, most people do not serve any jail time. To pursue a fair and ideal result, it’s important to work with an experienced DUI attorney.
Will I lose my license? How will I get to work?
You have 30 days after your DUI to request a hearing about your license with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS). If you fail to request the hearing within those 30 days, your license with be automatically revoked for at least six months.
During the period of your license revocation, you must enroll in the state-run Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP). If you had to install an IID on your vehicle, you may be allowed restricted vehicle operation during the suspension period. You must stay enrolled in the program for your entire period of revocation, and you must be violation-free from 90 for any reinstatement of your license after finishing IDAP.
Is it worth it to fight a DUI?
There are constitutional rights that police and prosecutors must observe. If they violate your rights, there is a possibility of having your entire charge dismissed. For instance, law enforcement must have probable cause to pull you over and arrest you in the first place. They also must read you your Miranda Rights, which remind you of your right to an attorney and warns you that “anything you say can and will be used against you.”
The evidence being presented might also be challenged. For example, a blood sample may be handled by several different people, and along the way, the sample may have gotten mixed up with someone else’s. Even a police officer’s testimony can be questioned. Any of these instances could create cracks in the prosecution’s case.
In short, yes, it’s worth it to fight a DUI charge. Contact our law firm to start building your best defense strategy today.
Are there any ways to reduce my sentence?
Oklahoma does not prohibit the reduction of a DUI to a lesser charge as some other states do. Therefore, it is possible to negotiate a plea bargain to get a lesser charge. For instance, you might be able to get the charge lowered to a DWI, which doesn’t carry any automatic license revocation.
Do I need a defense attorney?
The answer is absolutely yes, you do need an attorney whenever you’re facing a criminal charge. With skilled representation, you may be able to get a lesser or suspended sentence. You may even be able to get the charges dismissed.
Our team has decades of hands-on experience in exercising individual rights, whether by working with prosecutors on a plea bargain or by fighting for your future in the courtroom.
Get the Guidance You Need – Contact Our Firm Today.
Don’t look at a DUI charge as a do-it-yourself situation and decide to accept the first deal they offer you. Once you plead guilty, thinking that you’ve gotten “the best deal” you can, there can still be major consequences that will complicate your life far into the future. Consult with us before making any decision.
If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge in or around Canadian County, reach out to our team at The Handley Law Center immediately. Your initial consultation is free. We will review the circumstances of your charge and work with you to develop a strong strategy to obtain the best possible result for you. Our firm also proudly serves clients throughout Oklahoma, Custer, Blaine, Kingfisher, and Caddo counties.