FAQ: DUI Defense in Oklahoma
Any experienced Oklahoma DUI Defense Attorney can tell you a DUI arrest does not equal a DUI conviction. You have the ability to fight your case and defend your driving privileges to try and avoid the stiff penalties for an Oklahoma DUI, which includes difficult probation, heavy fines, driver’s license suspension, and potential jail time. In order to fight your case, you need a strong defense.
- Drifting inside or between lanes
- Straddling lane lines
- Nearly striking an object
- Coming into very close contact with an object
- Striking an object
- Following too close for safety
- Erratic breaking
- Inappropriate signaling
- Actions not matching signaling
- Straddling lane lines
- Driving ten miles per hour under the posted speed limit.
- Bloodshot or watery eyes
- Flushed face
- Odor of alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Messy appearance
- Poor or delayed motor skills
- Difficulty balancing
The Supreme Courts exception to the reasonable suspicion requirement does not give police unlimited power during DUI checkpoints. A sobriety checkpoint may be unlawful, if police go beyond what is reasonably necessary to determine, if the driver is intoxicated or if your vehicle is searched without additional evidence of a criminal act. The legality of a DUI checkpoint depends greatly on the totality of the circumstances in your case.
Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined the three tests administered as part of FST are not completely accurate. In fact, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“HGN”) test is accurate roughly 75% of the time. The One-Leg Stand (“OLS”) test is accurate 65% of the time. The Walk-and-Turn (“WAT”) test is accurately roughly 68% of the time. This concerning percentages of accurate are based upon the tests being performed in the prescribed manner under strict protocols. Any abnormality in the testing will reduce the accuracy of the test even further.
Unfortunately, under Oklahoma’s “implied consent laws” your driver’s license will be seized immediately, if you refuse to take a state breath, blood, or other alcohol test. Additionally, you will receive a 180 day to three-year driver’s license suspension. In your criminal case, the prosecution will be able to use the fact you refused to test; however, they will not have the evidence of field sobriety testing. You can learn more at our Driver’s License Revocation page.
- Only air from the lowest portion of your lungs can render an accurate BAC percentage. This air is called alveolar breath. Unfortunately, in many cases, the air tested by an Intoxilyzer comes from the air in your mouth, which contains “mouth alcohol” or the actual alcohol still in your mouth. Mouth alcohol returns inaccurately high results as it contains the alcohol in your blood, which you are releasing by breathing as well as actual alcohol still in your mouth.
- The intoxilyzer machine relies on a flawed premise, every person has the same blood-breath ration of 2100/1. This number represents 2,100 units of alcohol in your breath equals one unit of alcohol in your actual blood stream. However, no two humans are identical and this over simplification of human anatomy and physiology may result in your being wrongly charged with DUI.
Regarding your criminal case, if you have prior DUI offenses then you should refuse the chemical test, unless you are confident you will pass. Even on a first-time DUI arrest, a BAC of .15% or more will increase the likelihood your case is presented to the District Attorney instead of the city attorney’s office for prosecution. State charges are inherently more serious than municipal charges. Prosecutors have discretion to file charges at the state or municipal level in most instances; you should not increase the likelihood charges are filed at the state level, if you can avoid it. Immediately, after submitting to a chemical test, usually a breath test, you should request a blood draw to test your current blood alcohol content (“BAC”). You should insist the officer conduct a blood test, but do not become combative.
In your criminal DUI case the government, through the prosecution, seeks to prove your guilt of DUI or APC beyond a reasonable doubt to a judge or jury in order to hold you accountable and punish you by jail time, a fine, and probation conditions. Your DUI criminal case involves multiple steps that must be carefully followed in order to protect your rights and your freedom.
In you DPS driver’s license case, the government is seeking to impact or withdraw your driving privilege. Your driver’s license case is handled by a separate entity than your criminal case, the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”). Your civil DPS driver’s license case consists of an administrative driver’s license suspension hearing in which the Oklahoma Board of Tests (“BOT”) rules are evaluated to determine whether the arresting officer complied with the BOT requirements. Your driving privileges will be reinstated without interlock or other conditions, if the BOT rules were not strictly followed during your standardized field sobriety test or blood testing.
You must submit your request to DPS within fifteen (15) days of your arrest in order to exercise your right to the administrative hearing process to attempt to save your license. You cannot request, nor will you be granted, an administrative hearing to attempt to save your driving privileges, if your request is made more than fifteen (15) days after your DUI arrest. Without the request, your driver’s license will be revoked automatically 30 days after your arrest for at least 180 days, half a year. You can learn more details on our 15 Day Rule with DPS page.
Contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES today if you have been charged with DUI, AP, Aggravated DUI, DWI, or DUI under 21 in Oklahoma. CANNON & ASSOCIATES has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients accused of the wide variety of criminal charges in Oklahoma, including DUI, evidenced by John receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb). Call our office at (405) 657-2323 for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation.