Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

We all know someone who has been arrested for drinking and driving. Hopefully, you aren’t one of those unlucky people. However, if you have been arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) related charge its important you know what your rights are. This article will discuss what constitutes driving under the influence, the various types of charges related to driving under the influence, and the importance of obtaining legal counsel.

Oklahoma has very strict and detailed laws regarding drinking and driving. In Oklahoma it is unlawful to drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle by a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Under the Influence

Oklahoma considers you “under the influence” if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • Your blood or breath alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more within 2 hours of being arrested;
  • You have any intoxicating substance in your system which may render you incapable of safely driving or operating a vehicle; or
  • You are under a combined influence of alcohol and have any intoxicating substance in your system which may render you incapable of safely driving or operating a vehicle.

What this means is that you may be arrested for and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if: (1) your blood or breath alcohol concentration is at or above 0.08, (2) you are on drugs which render you incapable of driving or operating a car safely, or (3) any combination of drugs and alcohol.

It is important to remember that even though your blood alcohol content may be below 0.08, that doesn’t mean you will be free to go. You may still be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). This charge is reserved for those instances where your blood alcohol content is less than 0.08 but you are still incapable of safely driving or operating a vehicle.

Actual Physical Control

Another way you can end up on the wrong end of the law is when you are arrested and charged with being in actual physical control (APC) of a vehicle. Some people think that it’s a better idea to just sleep in their car instead of trying to drive home while drunk. While this may be a much wiser and safer decision than drinking and driving, you may still be arrested and charged with an APC. Oklahoma law says you can be arrested and charged with an APC if you are still in a position to control or possess the vehicle. That means that if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are inside your vehicle with the keys in your possession, or control, then you can be arrested.  For example, if you have been drinking and are inside your car with the keys in your pocket or in a cup holder, then you can be arrested and charged with APC.

The easiest way to avoid running into these types of problems is to take a taxi home if you have consumed any alcohol at all. An alternative solution is to designate a person to be the sober driver. Of course this only works if the designated driver stays sober. However, if you do end up on the wrong side of the law give Sansone Howell a call before its too late. Remember that your drivers license is at risk and you have a limited time to protect it.  We are a full service law firm and will handle your case from beginning to end. The punishments for drinking and driving will vary depending on your prior charges or convictions. Also, if you’ve previously been convicted of criminal charges, including DUI, and wish to have them removed from your record, Sansone Howell can assist you with a criminal records expungement.