Three different types of offenses relating to alcohol exist in Oklahoma, and the laws are specific to each, along with different punishments depending on which law is violated. Because Oklahoma laws are rather harsh, it is important to know the specifics before you make a mistake out of ignorance.
The table below outlines some general consequences of a DUI in Oklahoma. Keep in mind, the penalties can vary, and it is highly recommended that anyone facing a DUI charge consult with an attorney.
|Court Fines||Potential Jail Time||License Suspension|
|1st Conviction||Up to $1,000||10 Days to 1 Year||30 Days
|2nd Conviction||Up to $2,500||1 to 5 Years
|3rd Conviction||$Up to $10,000
||1 to 10 Years||1 Year
DUI (driving under the influence) is one of the three possible offenses in Oklahoma that relate to alcohol. Two different cases apply to this offense, and the offender can be convicted if either case is proven. The first is that the offender has been driving under the influence, which is determined by whether he or she is physically or mentally impaired by the driving. For instance, if the driver had been swerving from lane to lane, or driving too quickly, it would be considered a DUI.
The second case is the "per se" case, which means that no matter how sober the driver appears to be, and no matter how safe the driving is, the verdict of conviction depends solely on whether there is 0.08% or more alcohol in the bloodstream. This case only takes body chemistry into consideration.
Note: You are allowed to refuse the body chemistry test for alcohol, but that can result in immediate suspension of your license for anywhere from 180 days to three years. Thus, it is not recommended that you refuse the test, especially if you have not been drinking very much.
For a DUI, it is possible to receive a fine, community service, ignition interlock, and perhaps even jail. Thus, the charge should be taken very seriously.
APC is the second type of alcohol-related offense that is chargeable in Oklahoma. APC stands for "Actual Physical Control", and refers to the fact that the driver was in actual physical control of his or her vehicle while under the influence. While in DUI the vehicle must be moving (that is, driven by the driver), APC indicates that the driver can simply be sitting in the driver's seat of the vehicle while the keys are nearby, implying that the car can be driven. Thus, if you have been drinking, do not even get into the driver's seat, because you can be charged for that.
DWI, which is commonly mistakenly named as "Driving While Intoxicated", actually means "Driving While Impaired", which is an offense that can be charged against someone with alcohol in his or her blood but with a blood alcohol content of less than 0.08%. The consequences following this charge are generally much milder than those following a DUI, and jail is unlikely.