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DUI Attorneys Serving Canadian County, Oklahoma

Everyone’s been taught that drinking and driving is wrong, and admittedly it is a big concern in Oklahoma as it is in the rest of the nation. According to a report put out by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, there were 1,472 arrests for impaired driving offenses in 2020 alone. However, even though these drivers were charged with a crime, this still doesn’t mean that they don’t have rights and legal protections that should be upheld.  

We all make bad choices every now and then and while it’s true that unlawful actions need to be addressed, it doesn’t mean that you should be unnecessarily punished for them.  

If you’re facing drunk driving charges and would like to speak with a criminal defense lawyer about your situation, give us a call at The Handley Law Center. We serve those in Canadian County, Oklahoma, and the surrounding areas, including Oklahoma County, Custer County, Blaine County, Kingfisher County, and Caddo County. 

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DUI Charges in Oklahoma  

Each state sets its own laws for drunk driving, and it’s important to understand how Oklahoma’s DUI laws differ from those of other states.  

Specifically, Oklahoma has defined laws for both driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). Under state law, an arrest for a DWI means you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between 0.05% and 0.08% and there’s additional evidence that driving with this level of impairment led to public health and safety concerns. A DUI, on the other hand, means you had a BAC of at least 0.08% or were under the influence of another intoxicating substance while operating a vehicle.  

Another important element of a DUI charge that often surprises people is that you don’t actually have to be driving to get a DUI. This is what’s called being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle, which means you could be arrested for a DUI even if you had no intention of driving or were trying to sober up in your car.  

For example, if you pulled over on the side of the road because you realized you were too intoxicated to drive and fell asleep in the driver seat, an officer could claim you were still in actual physical control since you were in the driver seat and the keys were still in the ignition.  

Sobriety Tests & Your Rights  

Every driver gives their implied consent to certain sobriety tests when they operate a vehicle on the state’s roadways. These chemical tests include a breath test as well as a saliva or blood test. 

However, these are not the same as roadside sobriety tests that officers may request during the stop. Some of the more common of these are the one-leg stand or the horizontal eye gaze nystagmus. You are not required to take these tests and you have every right to refuse them. Note that if you do choose to refuse these tests you should always do so politely and calmly. It’s also possible that the state may try to use your refusal against you in court, but a seasoned attorney will help you formulate a defense against this.   

Possible Penalties for DUIs 

The possible DUI penalties depend on a few details, such as how impaired you were at the time of your arrest, whether you’ve had a DUI in the past, your age, or whether anyone was injured due to your impaired driving.  

Those who have been convicted of a DUI or DWI in the past will be more likely to receive harsher consequences as are those who are well above the legal BAC limit. Penalties can include fines, jail time, and license suspension or revocation. In some cases, a judge may grant a lower fine or less jail time if the defendant agrees to attend a rehabilitation program for substance abuse, or perform a certain number of hours of community service.  

However, these sentencing alternatives are up to the judge and are typically reserved for first-time offenders or minors. In addition, some convictions will require drivers to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car as a condition of having their license returned. This IID requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before their car will start.  

Ignition Interlock Program  

You may be required to enter the Ignition Interlock Program for 18 months after a first DUI conviction, four years after a second conviction, or five years for all subsequent convictions.  

For minors who are convicted of a DUI (which could mean they had any amount of alcohol in their system, even if it was under the limit of 0.08%), they will be required to install an IID.   

DUI Defense Attorneys Serving Canadian County, Oklahoma

By working with our team at The Handley Law Center in Canadian County, Oklahoma, you’ll be gaining a partner who will guide you through the legal process and take the time to truly listen to your side of the story. Our DUI attorneys will closely evaluate all the facts evidence to prepare the best possible defense. Call us today to get started and schedule a consultation.