In Oklahoma, drunk drivers are prosecuted according to DUI and DWI laws that apply based on the driver’s blood-alcohol content reading. The manner in which the officers stop the driver, as well as the evidence they obtain, can play a role in a defense case. A Tulsa DUI attorney explains the laws to the defendant and reviews possible defenses.
When is a Driver Charged with a DUI?
The driver must have a blood-alcohol content reading of at least 0.08 to be charged with a DUI, and the officers must obtain this reading legally. The officers must have probable cause to stop the driver, and they must obtain the reading without violating the defendant’s Miranda Rights.
What is the Difference Between DUI and DWI?
The DUI charge applies if the blood-alcohol content reading is 0.08 percent or higher. However, if the driver has a blood-alcohol content reading that ranges from 0.051 percent up to 0.079 percent, the state can charge them with a DWI. According to the law, this range indicates an impairment that makes it dangerous for the driver to operate a moving vehicle; however, if the reading is 0.05 percent or lower, the state cannot charge them.
What are the Penalties Assigned for the First Offense?
If convicted, the driver faces a jail sentence with a minimum of ten days and a maximum of one year. The fine for the offense will not exceed $1,000, and the driver’s license suspension can last for up to six months. However, if the blood alcohol content reading exceeds 0.15 percent, the state can charge the driver with an aggravated DUI.
What Penalties Apply to Felony DUI Charges?
Defendants convicted of three or more DUIs face felony-based penalties, and they start with a prison sentence between one and ten years. The fines won’t exceed $5,000, and the license suspension could last up to five years.
In Oklahoma, drunk drivers can face two separate charges which include a DUI or a DWI. The charges can incur penalties based on the blood-alcohol content reading as well as the passengers in the automobile. Defendants facing the crime should contact an attorney immediately.