With the new year comes new challenges – and for some, that new challenge could be in the form of their first criminal charge for driving under the influence (DUI).
Facing a first-time DUI charge in Oklahoma can be a daunting experience. However, understanding the law and the consequences can help you navigate the situation more effectively.
The legal limits for alcohol
According to state law, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. While this limit is nearly universal, it’s much lower for commercial drivers, at .04%, because they’re held to a higher safety standard. It’s even lower for drivers under 21, with a BAC limit of .02%, because underage drivers aren’t allowed to drink.
The penalties for a first offense
If an Oklahoma court convicts a driver of DUI for the first time, they can expect the following punishments:
- Jail time: Imprisonment for up to a year in a county jail.
- Fines: As much as $1,000 in fines (not including other costs, such as reinstating a license, IID installation, etc.).
- License Revocation: The state Department of Public Safety may revoke your driving privileges for 180 days.
- Alcohol and drug abuse evaluation: A court can order you to take part in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program. This program will determine whether you need to undergo treatment and a substance abuse course.
In addition to all these, a DUI conviction will appear on the driver’s record. This criminal record can severely affect the driver’s future education, employment and housing opportunities.
A first-time DUI in Oklahoma carries serious consequences, but understanding your rights and the legal process can make a significant difference in the outcome. Remember, a DUI charge does not always mean a conviction, and defenses may be available to you. Consider looking for a legal professional to help navigate the court process.