Locating A DUI In The State Of Oklahoma

Candace Lightner and Senator Michael Barnes
Candace Lightner and Senator D- MD Michael Barnes. Candace Lightner worked with Michael Barnes and other legislators to change drunk driving laws countrywide. Lightner lost her daughter, Cari, to a drunk driver that had just been released from his 4th offense, and hit Cari as she was walking to a church event.

A DUI, defined as the criminal act of operating a motor vehicle while “ alcohol concentration is eight-hundredths (0.08) or more as shown by a breath test.” Police reports generated during the arrest, court records that result in conviction, and arrest records of the resulting incarceration are all a matter of public record. Searching for, obtaining, and studying these records are a public right under Oklahoma’s Open Records Act, and can be easily obtained through a number of arrest and criminal record search websites.

DUIs in Oklahoma cover multiple categories of infractions. A DUI can occur when a driver operates a vehicle while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, and a test results in a blood alcohol concentration or drug content level (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers with a Commercial Drivers License face more stringent laws, and can incur a DUI with a BAC of just .04. Minors can also be charged with impaired driving while any alcohol or drugs are detected in a BAC.

If charged with a DUI, a driver may face penalties that aim to prevent them from driving while intoxicated. Oklahoma divides it’s DUI punishments categories depending on how many times a driver has operated a vehicle while under the influence. All offenses in this category begin with a driver that has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08.

 

Ronald Reagan and Michael Jackson launch a drunk driving campaign in 1984
First Offense DUI

Any person who is convicted of a drunk driving violation is punished by mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance buse evaluation and assessment program. Offenders also face between 10 days and 12 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and license suspension for 180 days unless otherwise modified at the time of sentencing.

If the offender is under the age of 21, and has any measurable BAC faces punishment of mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program, 20 hours of community services, a fine of between $100 and $500, and license suspension for up to six months.

Second Offense DUI

Any person who is convicted of a second drunk driving violation within 10 years of the first is charged with a felony. They are also unished by mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program and 240 hours of community service. Offenders also face between one and five years in jail, up to $2,500 in fines, and license suspension for one year unless otherwise modified at the time of sentencing.

If the offender is under the age of 21, and has any measurable BAC faces punishment of mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program, 240 hours of community services, a fine of between $100 and $1,000, and license suspension for up to 12 months.

Third (of more) Offense DUI

Any person who is convicted of a third or subsequent drunk driving violation within 10 years of the second will be charged with a elony. They are also punished by mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program. Offenders also face between one and ten years in jail, up to $5000 in fines, and license suspension for three years unless otherwise modified at the time of sentencing.

If the offender is under the age of 21, and has any measurable BAC faces punishment of mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program, 480 hours of community services, a fine of between $100 and $2,000, and license suspension for up to 36 months.

Two or more prior Felony DUI

Any person who is convicted of two felony drunk driving violations is punished by mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program and 480 hours of community service. Offenders also face between one and ten years in jail, up to $5000 in fines, and license suspension to be determined at sentencing.

Manslaughter or Murder DUI

Any person who is convicted of murder in the second degree or manslaughter where the death was caused by driving under the influence is charged with a felony. They also face imprisonment of between five and 20 years, and are fined up to $10,000.

.15 Blood Alcohol Content DUI

Any person who is convicted of driving under the influence while having a BAC of .15 or higher will be charged with aggravated driving under the influence. They are also punished by mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program. They must undergo one year of supervision and periodic testing at the offender’s expense, must install an ignition interlock device for 90 days, face imprisonment of between 10 days and one year, and fines of up to $1,000.

 

ALCOHOL-INVOLVED DEATHS
Persons Killed in Crashes Involving a Drunk Driver

Number of Deaths, 2003−2012

people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Oklahoma

2,205

people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Oklahoma

Rate of Deaths by Age (per 100,000 population), 2012

1.3 * 0-20 6.7 10.5 21-34 3.1 5.8 35+ 3.3 5.6 All ages NationalOklahoma

Rate of Deaths by Age (per 100,000 population), 2012

5.2 9.3 MALE 1.5 1.9 FEMALE
President Ronald Reagan signs legislation to change the national drinking age from 18 to 21
President Ronald Reagan signs legislation to change the national drinking age from 18 to 21.
Candace Lightner shares the story of the creation of MADD, arguably the most influential anti-drunk driving organization.

 

From 1981 to 1986, under pressure from such advocacy groups as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Oklahoma’s legislature passed over 50 pieces of legislation to make DUI laws much harsher than they had been for over 70 years.

Besides raising the minimum drinking age to 21, the two biggest changes that were enacted were that now DUI offenders would be prosecuted with the intent to convict, and that blood alcohol content (BAC) tests would determine if a driver was intoxicated, rather than the loose definition that had existed up to the point. Even determining a driver’s BAC was difficult initially. The first portal device to see field use was called the “drunkometer” and consisted of a rubber balloon filled with reactive chemicals that would change when coming into contact a drunk driver’s breath. This would finally be replaced by the more standard Breathalyzer in 1954.