A DUI in Stillwater, Oklahoma can happen all too easily, regardless of whether you are normally a law-abiding citizen.
It is a Saturday night and you are out with friends. After a couple of drinks, you need to make the decision about whether to drive home or not.
This is a time to make a wise decision, but all too often the alcohol, marijuana, or other intoxicant that you have ingested leads to a poor decision.
A DUI, or driving under the influence, can result in serious jail time and fines in Oklahoma — especially if you have multiple convictions on your record.
Here are some things you may want to know.
When is it Too Much?
A DUI charge can involve more than just alcohol. It can involve any intoxicant that impairs one’s ability to drive safely such as marijuana, opiates, and other drugs. It can even include prescription and over the counter medications.
If it impairs your driving, it is against the law to drive.
Alcohol Levels in DUI Cases
In Oklahoma, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Okla. Stat. 47 § 11-902
The law also prohibits any combination of intoxicating substances that can affect driving.
The fact that you may be legally entitled to use a substance is not a defense to this statute. Ingestion is not the issue, driving after ingestion is.
DUI repeat offenders can wind up in serious trouble in Oklahoma. The penalties for driving under the influence increase with each offense. Okla. Stat. 47 § 11-902
A first conviction is a misdemeanor crime. This is punishable by up to a year in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
For a second conviction within 10 years of the first, you could be convicted of a felony crime. You could spend one to five years in prison, pay a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
A third conviction within 10 years is also treated as a felony offense. It is punishable by and punished by 1 to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. In addition, 480 hours of community service is required.
In addition to these sentences, the court engages in an evaluation process regarding a defendant’s level of substance abuse and its effects upon the defendant and others. A report is issued containing recommendations.
The court has the discretion to order a defendant to follow all recommendations contained in the report as a condition for any deferred or suspended sentence. This could include counseling, drug and alcohol classes, attendance at AA meetings, or another type of treatment program. Okla. Stat. 47 § 11-902
In addition, a court may require that a defendant’s license be suspended for up to three years or that driving be limited or restricted in some way. All of this is done at the defendant’s expense.
There are defenses that may be available to you depending on the circumstances.
Know that in all DUI cases, the evidence collected during the traffic stop must be legally admissible. If the police officer pulled you over without probable cause, you may have a viable defense. Sobriety checkpoints are an exception to this general rule.
There may also be problems with the chemical test that is administered and the sample taken. This is an area that an experienced Stillwater criminal defense attorney will know how to handle. If there are problems in how the test was administered, how the sample was handled, or even the validity of the test itself, you may have a viable defense.
If you are facing charges for any DUI, do not talk to the police. Contact an experienced Payne County DUI attorney as soon as possible to help you build a strong defense and to protect your freedom.
Free Consultation with Stillwater Lawyer
Wirth Law Office – Stillwater is here to help you when you need it the most.
We offer a free consultation with an experienced Stillwater criminal defense attorney to help you defend your legal rights.
Call 405-673-1600 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.