As in other states, in Oklahoma driving with a certain blood alcohol concentration may lead to criminal charges.
However, the type and severity of penalties that drivers face after an alcohol-related arrest may depend on the specific amount of alcohol in the blood.
How does Oklahoma distinguish between DWIs, and DUIs?
Oklahoma law distinguishes between driving while impaired and driving under the influence. In general, a driver who has been drinking may face a DWI charge if found with a BAC lower than 0.08%. However, if the driver’s BAC is over 0.08%, the charge may rise to the level of a DUI.
What are the penalties for a DWI?
Oklahoma DWIs are typically misdemeanor offenses, even if a driver has received prior DWIs. Additionally, while the motorist may receive a temporary license suspension, a DWI alone may not contribute to points against a driver’s license. However, the driver may have to pay a steep fine and potentially serve some time in jail.
How are the penalties for a DUI different?
The penalties for driving with a BAC over 0.08% may be significantly more severe than a DWI. Even a first-time DUI charge may result in automatic driver’s license revocation, extended jail time and a significant fine. Additionally, the penalties for a DUI can increase dramatically with a second, third or subsequent offense within a certain period of time.
Regardless of specific consequences, either a DWI or DUI conviction may have a huge impact on an individual’s life. From court fees and criminal fines to imprisonment, loss of a license and barriers to employment or housing, those facing charges should know that a strong defense may help to minimize the negative effects of a drinking-and-driving conviction.