DUI & DWI Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are two of the most commonly charged criminal traffic offenses in Oklahoma and around the nation. Oklahoma also prosecutes those in Actual Physical Control (APC) of a motor vehicle while under the influence. APC involves possession or control of a vehicle because you have the keys but are not actually driving. In these cases, you need qualified counsel to assist you in defending the criminal charges and in challenging the revocation of your driver’s license.
GIVE A BREATH OR BLOOD TEST. If you are stopped in a traffic stop and the officer arrests you under suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be offered a breath test or blood test. Refusal of the test will likely result in the automatic revocation of your driving privileges in the State of Oklahoma.
DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN FIELD SOBRIETY. Field sobriety tests may or may not be requested by the officer depending on the circumstances. At this time, there is no law in Oklahoma requiring you to participate — so don’t. If you do consent, the officer will use the results against you either at a revocation hearing with DPS or in a criminal matter. You may politely decline to take these tests or simply ask the officer if you can call an attorney before you consent. In states other than Oklahoma, the law may require participation. This web site addresses only the Oklahoma law.
DEFINITIONS. DUI and DWI are terms associated with alcohol (including 3.2 % beer) and drugs. At present in Oklahoma, you are operating DUI when your blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher. In Oklahoma for DWI, the blood alcohol concentration requirement is only .06. APC means that someone under the influence has actual physical control of a vehicle even when not driving but has the keys and an operational vehicle. An example is sitting in your car in a parking lot while drunk. A first offense is a misdemeanor, but subsequent offenses are generally felony charges.
CRITICAL DEADLINE FOR DRIVER’S LICENSE
If you are ticketed for DUI, DWI or APC, you have only 15 days to file a request for hearing on the revocation of your license and/or modification of your driver’s license. Failure to file the request timely will result in revocation of your driver’s license for at least 6 months and possibly for years.
IMPACT OF DUI ON YOUR LIFE: IGNITION INTERLOCK
Under recent laws, if convicted or even if put on probation without a conviction, a DUI or APC can result in significant administrative punishment. You could be required to have an ignition interlock for up to 2 years for a first offense and up to as many as 8 years for subsequent offenses. You must pay for the device in any automobile you operate.
FORFEITURE OF CAR FOR 3rd FELONY DUI or APC
As of November 2014, if you are charged with a third felony DUI or APC, the State can forfeit your car. That means that in addition to other punishment and driver’s license suspension, the State can try to take away your car. While we don’t know if there is an “innocent spouse” defense when the car is owned jointly, it is likely not available because the spouse is theoretically aware of the prior DUI or APC offenses. (APC is “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence — merely possessing the keys and having access to the car is sufficient). See our Asset Seizure and Forfeiture page.
DUI and DWI are no longer “automatic” convictions. There are scientific challenges to the evidence and standards that must be followed by law enforcement to make the blood-alcohol testing accurate and the arrest legal. Depending on the facts of your case, you may have a defense, even if technically guilty.
UNDER 21 DUI
If you are under 21 years old, there are different procedures for DUI offenses. Be sure to ask your lawyer about the differences if you are under 21. For example, any BAC of .02 or higher is all that it takes.
IF CONVICTED, YOU LOSE YOUR LICENSE
If convicted for DUI or APC, you can lose your license. Also note that a conviction of any drug crime will likely cause the revocation of your driver’s license under Oklahoma law. A lawyer may be able to avoid a conviction, thus giving you a chance to keep your license.
MODIFIED DRIVER’S LICENSE
Even if your license to drive is revoked, we may be able to help you get a modified license. This was previously referenced as a “hardship license” or “work permit.” Today the rules are different, so the name has changed. At the Wyatt Law Office, we know that you need your license to hold a job and take care of routine daily living.
YOU NEED A LAWYER WHEN FACING DUI, DWI or APC
You must have counsel to plead your criminal case effectively to the District Attorney and to plead your “license case” to DPS and to guide you in the many options that may face you in this difficult time. The Wyatt Law Office welcomes the opportunity to assist you.
Call the Wyatt Law Office at 405.234.5500 for your Oklahoma DUI, DWI or APC Lawyers and Attorneys. Your future is our business.
Evidence Suppressed, Case Dismissed in DUI with Great Bodily Injury. In June 2004, a Lincoln County judge suppressed critical blood evidence in a case alleging “great bodily harm” while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. (One alleged victim had her leg amputated and the other broke nearly every bone in his body.) Without the blood evidence (which the defense also challenged on scientific grounds), there was no evidence to support a conviction. Bob Wyatt was co-counsel to D.C. Thomas in this contested criminal action which was set aside on the eve of jury trial.*
*Note: Results may vary because each case must be decided on its own unique facts and the law applicable to that given case. You should not infer the likelihood of success on a given case based on past cases handled by this firm.