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Can I be Charged with a Crime?

If you drive a vehicle on a public street with alcohol in your system, you may be charged with a crime. The severity of the charge depends largely on how much alcohol is in your system. This is commonly referred to as your Blood Alcohol Content or BAC. If your BAC is between .05 - .07 you may be charged with a DWI (Driving While Under the Influence). If your BAC is .08 - .14 you can be charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). If your BAC is .15 or higher you can be charged with an Aggravated DUI. If you are under the age of 21 it illegal to have any measurable quantity of alcohol in your system. This can be charged as DUI under 21 and carries a different punishment than a typical DUI or DWI.

Oklahoma also has a charge called Actual Physical Control (APC). This gets charged when someone has control of a vehicle even though they have not moved it. For example, when someone who is intoxicated passes out in a running car, he or she is often charged with APC instead of DUI. The penalty for APC and DUI is usually the same.

DUI, DWI, and APC can also be charged if you operate a vehicle under the influence of any illegal substance, and in some cases, even with prescription medicines.

Should I Take the Breathalyzer Test?

Like many other states, Oklahoma has implied consent laws. This means that by having a driver’s license you have given your consent to undergo sobriety tests when you are pulled over and suspected of one of the above offenses. It also means that law enforcement does not have to let you speak with an attorney before deciding whether to take the test. While you cannot be forced to submit to a breathalyzer test, implied consent does allow the state to penalize you for refusing to take the test. Refusing to take the take test typically results in a longer driver’s license revocation. It can also increase the time that you must have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. While every situation is unique, it is important to keep these additional punishments in mind when you make your decision.

What About a Blood Test?

Typically, an arresting officer will offer a breath test. However, in some situations where a breath test cannot be performed or is not available the officer is entitled to use a blood test. In Oklahoma you have the right to request an additional test subsequent to the one conducted by law enforcement. Therefore, if you disagree with the results of the breath test you may request a blood test. However, you will be billed personally for the additional cost. If the intoxicating substance is something other than alcohol, a blood or urine test will most likely be used.

What is a Vehicle?

A motor vehicle is defined as any vehicle that is self-propelled. However, the law excludes any vehicle that is powered solely by human or animal power. While cars and motorcycles are clearly motor vehicles, electric scooters and motorized bikes would be included in this category as well.

Can I get a DUI While Operating a Boat?

Yes. If you operate, or are in actual physical control of a boat, and your BAC in .08 or more, you can be charged with a BUI. The same implied consent rules that apply to public street apply to boating on state waters. Therefore, law enforcement can ask you to take a breathalyzer or submit to a blood test.

What if I Have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

If you have a CDL you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. There are separate and distinct laws that apply specifically to a driver with a CDL. These punishments can be more severe and can significantly impact your ability to maintain your livelihood.

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