“If you’re going to drink, don’t drive”. This is excellent advice, but thousands of drivers will be charged this year with driving under the influence (DUI)
just the same. Not all of these drivers deserve the penalties that accompany a first time DUI, and it’s actually possible to be incorrectly charged with a DUI. Given what a DUI conviction can mean in terms of driving privileges in the state of Oklahoma, a driver would be unwise not to contest such a verdict, but instead should consult with a Claremore DUI lawyer.
All DUI Laws Are Not Alike
While the purpose of all DUI laws is to punish inebriated drivers and to keep repeat offenders off of the roadways, drivers should understand that there are variances to these laws by state, and sometimes even between communities within a single state. It’s important that drivers understand these differences, both to avoid running afoul of regulations, and to protect their rights.
Oklahoma makes a distinction between the conditions of DUI and DWI (driving while impaired), which has to do with the driver’s Blood Alcohol Level (BAC). Not all states make a clear distinction between DUI and DWI, but in Oklahoma, drivers with alcohol in their system but a BAC of under (0.08%) are considered DWI, while drivers with a BAC of or over (0.08%) are considered DUI. The penalty differences between a DWI and a DUI in Oklahoma are significant. While earning either one is not preferable, DWI offenses generally do not indicate criminal prosecution or revocation of driving privileges for a single incident. Both are possible with a DUI. Oklahoma police can also arrest drivers whom they suspect of being intoxicated, even if they are not driving, the car is not in motion and is safely off of the roadway, and the driver is unconscious and is causing no harm to property or to the public. Conditions that allow such an arrest are known as actual physical control (APC). The argument behind such a charge is that the driver was aware of intoxication, and could have resumed driving at any time, causing potential property damage and injury. An APC conviction should not be taken lightly, as the penalties are the same as for a DUI conviction.