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DUI, refusing the breathalyzer test and a bill called IDEA2

If law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer has the right to ask you to submit to breathalyzer testing.

If you refuse to take the test, you are guilty of a misdemeanor because of an Oklahoma senate bill known as IDEA2.

About the bill

Oklahoma Senate Bill 643 is also called the Impaired Driver Elimination Act 2, or IDEA2. A portion of that Act states that if someone under arrest for DUI refuses to take a breath test to determine blood alcohol content level or BAC, he or she will be guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to 10 days.

The IDAP program

The Act, which Mothers Against Drunk Driving strongly supports, also created the Impaired Driver Accountability Program, or IDAP, which is only available to first-time DUI offenders. One requirement is the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle the participant operates to test his or her BAC before driving. However, participants would see a six-month reduction in their driver’s license revocation. In addition, completing the program has a positive effect on an attendee’s criminal record. Anyone willing to participate in the IDAP program has 10 days from the date of the DUI arrest to submit an application.

In your defense

If law enforcement charges you with driving under the influence, explore your legal options promptly. Your defense would begin with a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Was the stop valid? Were there any procedural irregularities? Does IDEA2 apply? Even if you complied with law enforcement and took the breath test, you could contest the results. Equipment sometimes fails. The breathalyzer you used may have had calibration issues. Other irregularities may exist, and the goal of your defense is to arrive at the best possible outcome for your case.

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