What You Need to Know About Oklahoma Aggravated DUIs

Drunk driver behind the steering wheel of a car
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A person who drives, or is in control of, a motor vehicle and shows impairment by alcohol, drugs or both faces arrest for drunk driving in Oklahoma. A conviction stays on the driver's record for 10 years and its penalties can be severe, depending on the circumstances of the traffic stop. Aggravated DUI, a higher concentration of alcohol in a driver's system, is a misdemeanor, but can result in harsher penalties than those stemming from a standard DUI charge.

Oklahoma DUI and DWI Impairment

According to the Oklahoma State Highway Safety Office, there are two definitions of driving impairment: driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI). DWI applies to a driver with a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 to 0.079 percent. In this instance, a law enforcement officer must present additional evidence of a person's inability to safely operate a vehicle by showing the health and safety of others is at risk due to the driver's impairment or that they are in violation of state or local laws at the time of the traffic stop.

Oklahoma law defines DUI much the same way as other states: a person who drives, or is in "actual physical control" of, a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or greater within two hours of a traffic stop. Schedule 1 controlled substances that cause a driver to be impaired or that are found in a driver's system via a chemical test can also lead to a DUI arrest. A driver faces charges while driving impaired on a road or another location accessed by the public, or on a private road, alley or private drive leading to one or more dwellings.

Aggravated DUI and Penalties

Drivers can incur a criminal charge of aggravated DUI, which carries more significant penalties and fines than a standard DUI, according to Tulsa DUI Expert, if their breath or blood test shows a BAC of 0.15 or greater. In Oklahoma, an aggravated DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • 10 days to a year of incarceration.
  • Maximum fine of $1,000, if pursued in state court.
  • One year of substance abuse testing at the driver's expense.
  • Installation of an IID for a minimum of 90 days.
  • Substance abuse evaluation and assessment at the driver's expense.
  • Attendance at a victim impact panel.

For second and third aggravated DUI offenses, the driver will likely serve additional jail time, more significant fines, inpatient treatment and community service hours. For municipal court cases, a driver will face a maximum of six months in jail, a maximum $1,200 fine, plus additional penalties.

Aggravated DUI and Deferred Sentencing

If an impaired driver receives a deferred sentence, meaning they have pleaded guilty and have complied with the court's conditions, the court will dismiss the case. In that instance, the driver will not face aggravated DUI penalties. Furthermore, drivers who complete an alcohol screening with results that show that they do not need an inpatient substance abuse program may see a reduction in penalties to those of a standard DUI.

Convicted felons or who have received deferred sentencing for a felony within the state's "lookback" period of ten years cannot receive a deferment for their current DUI. The court can also enter a guilty judgment against a driver and suspend the deferment for violating its requirements.

Felony DUI in Oklahoma

While aggravated DUI is a charge with stiffer penalties than a driver would experience with a standard DUI, certain circumstances can make the charge a felony. According to Oklahoma lawyer Edward L. Kelley, felony charges can result from:

  • One or more prior convictions for DUI within 10 years of the current charge.
  • Grave injury or death as the result of an impaired driving accident.
  • Having a minor in the vehicle while impaired.

The penalties for felony DUI convictions include:

  • Up to $5,000 in fine.
  • Between one and twenty years imprisonment.
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to eight years.
  • Driver's license suspension of up to three years.
  • Compulsory substance abuse treatment.
  • Community service.

First-Offense DUI and Penalties

According to NOLO, a first-time DUI offense is a misdemeanor. Offenders face these penalties:

  • Between 10 days to one year of jail time. As an alternative, the court may allow the driver to serve time in a substance abuse center or a Department of Corrections treatment program. A judge can also defer this sentence if the offender meets specific requirements as decided by the court.
  • Up to a $1,000 fine, plus additional fees. Fines double with the addition of a minor passenger in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
  • Substance abuse evaluation and inpatient treatment, courses or intervention measures.

The driver faces a 180-day administrative license suspension from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety but can apply for a restricted license through the state's Impaired Driver Accountability Program with the installation of an ignition interlock device. After the driver fulfills the court's requirements, they can have their license reinstated.

Second-Offense DUI and Penalties

A second DUI offense is a felony. Offenders face these penalties:

  • Between one and five years in a Department of Corrections facility. As an alternative, the court may allow the driver to serve time in a state treatment program or in a substance abuse center. A judge can also defer this sentence if the offender meets specific requirements as decided by the court.
  • Up to a $2,500 fine, plus additional fees. Fines can double with the addition of a minor passenger in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
  • Substance abuse evaluation and inpatient treatment, courses or intervention measures.

A driver faces a loss of driving privileges for one year, but can apply for a restricted license through the state's Impaired Driver Accountability Program, with the installation of an IID. When the driver fulfills the court's requirements, they can have their license reinstated.

Third-Offense DUI and Penalties

A third DUI offense is a felony if it takes place within 10 years of the first two charges. Offenders face:

  • Between one and five years in a Department of Corrections facility. As an alternative, the court may allow the driver to serve time in state treatment program or in a substance abuse center. A judge can also defer this sentence if the offender meets specific requirements as decided by the court.
  • Up to a $5,000 fine, plus additional fees. Fines can double with the addition of a minor passenger in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
  • Substance abuse evaluation and inpatient treatment, courses or intervention measures.
  • Community service of 240 hours.
  • Maximum of two years of IID installation.

A driver faces an administrative license revocation of one year, but can apply for a restricted license through the state's Impaired Driver Accountability Program with the installation of an ignition interlock device. When the driver fulfills the court's requirements, they can have their license reinstated.