In Oklahoma, even a first-time DUI charge may come with serious consequences. In addition to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines and fees, a conviction may result in loss of a driver’s license, jail time and a black mark on background checks for years to come.
The high stakes of a DUI conviction make it essential that law enforcement officers follow proper legal protocol when making a stop, administering sobriety tests and creating an accurate report.
1. Lack of reasonable suspicion
To make a legal stop in the first place, an officer must be able to point to a specific behavior that gave them reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation, impaired driving or other criminal activity. Once stopped, the officer must also have good reason to suspect intoxication before initiating a roadside DUI investigation.
2. Issues with breath testing equipment or procedure
Recent investigations have found an alarming number of breath alcohol tests in the U.S. may have resulted in false DUI convictions. From faulty calibration or poor maintenance to improper equipment handling, testing machines may not always be accurate.
3. Inconsistencies in police report
In addition to a written report, an officer may need to give later testimony regarding the arrest. Inaccuracies in the report itself or inconsistencies between the report and an officer’s witness statements in court may lead to dismissal of charges.
Drivers who believe their DUI arrest was improper have the right to file an appeal within 30 days. Doing so quickly may help to prevent automatic license suspension and minimize or eliminate criminal charges.