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Try the Dead Armadillo

Ooooo-klahoma! Home to tornadoes aplenty, wicked extreme meteorological highs and lows, good ol’ working people and, as some people might not know, recently-arrived craft beer brewers, because there’s nothing quite like getting drunk and having your ear talked off by the person who made it while you do it. While it might not seem like the most exciting place ever, there are plenty of midwestern American comforts to go around, plus generally good eats and some pretty nice waterways too, if that’s the sort of thing that floats your boat. But wait – we’re here to talk about that nasty DUI (or is it a DWI? Keep reading to find out…) you might very well land if you aren’t careful one night, gettin’ your kicks on Route 66, you know…general Oklahoman shenanigans that you’re better off not getting into in the first place. But we understand – things happen…and you’ll be all the wiser if you’re prepared in advance.

DUI or DWI?

So you’ve been found guilty of drinking and driving in the Sooner State. In mathematical terms, that means you were boozin’ and cruisin’ with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Depending on the exact number of adult beverages you enjoyed, the severity of penalties you will incur can vary a great deal – because as you’ll see, the authorities do give a shit as to whether you’re what folks consider “tipsy” or actual menace-to-society drunk. Neither one is great, and often when you’re the latter of the two, you just don’t know that getting in your car is a bad idea. In fact, it just might seem like the best idea you’ve ever had.

Contrary to what you might be thinking so far, a DWI is when your BAC is actually below 0.08 – between 0.051 and 0.079, to be exact – and therefore while you might not be fully intoxicated per se, the odds are stacked against you if you happen to make a poor decision while driving. It also might raise the question: Could you have consumed any non-alcoholic intoxicants that the officers might need to take you in to test for? Overall, a DWI might not seem like a terrible thing to deal with, but folks, it’s the real deal. It stays on your record, and it usually involves either a substantial fine or a bit of jail time. Specific consequences are as follows:

  • First offense: $100 fine OR up to six months in jail, plus a 30-day license suspension.
  • Second offense: $100 fine OR up to six months in jail, plus a 6-month suspension.
  • Third offense: $100 fine OR up to six months in jail, plus a year-long suspension.

As you might suspect, the penalties associated with DUI’s (testing at or above the legal limit) are much weightier, and subsequent offenses that occur within 10 years of priors can involve severe additive penalties considering your criminal history. And if you’re under the age of 21, consider yourself a complete outlier; Oklahoma operates under a zero-tolerance law, meaning that any trace of alcohol in your blood can lead to long hours of community service, hefty fines, substance abuse treatment programs, and the definite suspension of your license. Stay in school, kids. Do the right thing.

Alright, so I was legally drunk. What’s the worst that could happen?

Hopefully, it was your first time (or at least your first time in a very long time.) Oklahoma courts show no mercy when it comes to the treatment of DUI charges – which is evidenced by the signing of a new law signed this past June that abolishes the appeal process that accused drunk drivers could formerly use to challenge the revocation of their licenses. (It’s scheduled to go into effect in November and is already the subject of a lawsuit filed by multiple local law firms.) That little tidbit aside, there are plenty of unfortunate consequences associated with a guilty verdict that you’re definitely going to want to avoid if at all possible. Tip #1: Don’t drink and drive! Tip #2: Hire a lawyer – especially if you’re dealing with a felony charge…AKA anything that isn’t a first offense.

  • First offense: This is considered a misdemeanor offense.
    • Fines as high as $1,000.
    • Jail time for a minimum of 10 days and for up to one full year.
    • Automatic license suspension upon arrest, which ordinarily goes into effect 30 days after the incident.
    • License revocation for up to six months. You may apply for a hardship permit, though, which allows for basic transportation to places like work, childcare and medical facilities, and substance abuse treatment programs – and is only permitted during the day.
    • Substance abuse treatment programs to be determined by the court.
  • Second offense: In this scenario, you are automatically considered a repeat offender (so long as it is the second offense in 10 years) and your crime is treated as a felony offense.
    • Fines as high as $2,500.
    • A mandatory one-year prison sentence. (And you may be sentenced up to five years at the judge’s discretion.)
    • License revocation for up to one full year. Again, the application for a hardship permit is possible.
    • Mental health and substance abuse evaluation and subsequent treatment if the authorities see fit – expenses to be covered all by you.
    • The mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device (an IID) in your vehicle upon reinstatement of your license to remain between six months and three years. By the way, the Oklahoma legislature is currently working on another new law that would put IID requirements in place for first offenses as well. There just not quite there yet.
  • Third and subsequent offenses: Surprise! Also felonies.
    • Fines as high as $5,000.
    • Up to 10 years in prison.
    • License revocation for up to three full years. Believe it or not, the hardship license is possibility in this scenario as well. As you can see, the Oklahoma authorities fully acknowledge that you fucked up, but they understand that you should be able to continue functioning like a normal human being whenever at all possible.
    • The mandatory installation of an IID for up to three years following license reinstatement.
    • Possible substance abuse treatment and a probationary period for at least one year.

Just plain drunk, or aggravated?

As if things couldn’t get worse, there actually is a level of drunkenness that automatically places you in an even more dangerous category in the eyes of the law. Whereas the 0.08% limit is considered legally drunk, if you are found with a BAC at 0.15% then your charge is elevated to an aggravated DUI and the associated consequences become substantially higher. The “baseline” set of penalties associated with an aggravated DUI include all the penalties which result from a misdemeanor (first-offense) DUI conviction, plus all of the following items:

  • 480 hours of community service
  • An enforced probationary period (including random alcohol screenings)
  • Mandatory installation of an IID in your vehicle.
  • A minimum of 28 days of inpatient alcohol treatment, plus one year of “aftercare” following your release

 

See, the state cares! They care about your right to not murder anyone with your car after having just one too many at the local saloon.

Need some help? Try BernieSez today

At BernieSez, you can upload your case for free, where experienced attorneys from all 50 states will have access to it and can offer you their services. Or, if you just have a question, feel free to try out the discussion board – it’s even easier! No matter the severity of your crime or the number of times you’ve gotten busted by law enforcement, know that your right to an attorney exists and you’ll thank yourself later for exercising said right. No one said you have to do this alone. Upload your case, and embark on your path to better justice today.

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