Oklahoma Drunk Driving Laws, Penalties, and Consequences

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s DUI laws prohibit all motorists from operating a motor vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more
  • with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance (illegal drugs) in their system, or
  • while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle.
Oklahoma also has zero-tolerance laws that prohibit underage drivers from operating a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.

Getting a DUI Without Actually Driving

In Oklahoma, a motorist can get a DUI even without actually driving: It is illegal for any person to drive or “operate or be in actual physical control” of a motor vehicle while under the influence. This “actual physical control” only requires direct influence over the vehicle and does not require operation or movement. So while driving is sufficient for a conviction, it isn’t required.

Oklahoma Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Per Se DUIs

A drunk driving offense based on BAC—as opposed to the driver’s level of impairment—is known as a “per se” DUI. The amount of alcohol a person must consume to be over the legal limit depends on a number of factors such as gender, body size, and number and strength of drinks. Our BAC calculator and BAC table can give you an estimate of where your BAC might be at after a certain number of drinks.

Oklahoma DUI Penalties

Oklahoma DUI penalties vary based on the circumstances of the case. But the range of allowable penalties depends, in large part, on how many prior convictions the offender has. A repeat offense within ten years is considered a second offense. A second DUI and any subsequent offense within the person’s lifetime will be a felony DUI. Here are what the potential sentences generally look like for a first, second, and third DUI.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

10 days to 1 year

1 to 5 years

1 to 10 years

Fines

Up to $1,000

Up to $2,500

Up to $5,000

License Revocation

180 days

1 year

3 years

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

18 months if refused test or BAC of .15% or more

4 years

5 years

Substance abuse treatment. The judge can order that a jail sentence be set aside if the convicted motorist agrees to abide by the recommendations of a substance abuse treatment assessment. Recommendations often include inpatient or outpatient treatment and educational classes. If the recommendations do not require inpatient treatment, the court will usually order the convicted person to serve a few days in jail. A defendant’s failure to abide by treatment recommendations can result in extended jail time and license suspension.

Modified license. A driver can request the issuance of a modified license during the suspension period. With a modified license, the motorist has limited driving privilege but must install an ignition interlock device.

Implied Consent and Refusing a Blood or Breath Test in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s “implied consent” laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a blood or breath test. Motorists who refuse testing face the same revocation and IID periods as they would under a DUI conviction.

However, for purposes of determining what is a second or third refusal, all prior DUI convictions, refusals, and failed BAC test (.08% or greater) within the person’s life are counted.

Plea Bargaining in Oklahoma DUI Cases

If you get charged with a DUI in Oklahoma, you might be hoping prosecution will dismiss the case. However, unless the court throws out evidence that’s critical to prove the charge, it’s unlikely a prosecutor will agree to do so. But Oklahoma law doesn’t prohibit reducing a DUI charge to a lesser offense. So, depending on the circumstances, a reduction could be an option.

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