DUI-Drugs Charges In Oklahoma

dui drugs arrest oklahomaDUI in Oklahoma is defined in 47 OS § 11-902 and describes the offense as someone who:

  • has a blood or breath alcohol concentration that’s 0.08 or more; or
  • has any amount of a Schedule I or other controlled substance or one of its metabolites or analog in their blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid at the time of test; or
  • is under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol, which may render that person incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle; or
  • is under the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance which may render that person incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle.

 

Level of Drugs in Blood

Any test must be conducted within two hours of the arrest. Note the language discussing “any amount of a Schedule I or a controlled substance or any of its metabolites or analog in the body.” That signifies that Oklahoma is a zero-tolerance state. If someone has any measurable amount of those substances in their body, then he or she is automatically considered to have been driving under the influence. This is extremely harsh! This means that you can still be found guilty of DUI-drugs if you have any amount of a Schedule I drug or a controlled substance or any of their metabolites or analog in your body—even if you were driving perfectly fine! This can come into play when someone is pulled over, the officer asks the driver if he or she has taken any drugs, and the driver—not knowing this law—states that they consumed some substance that morning or a previous day. If the officer wanted to, they could request to take a sample of the driver’s blood. If the driver refuses, then it’s treated as a refusal.

What makes this law extra harsh is how long some people can be considered “DUI” after ingesting a drug. For instance, heavy marijuana users may have THC metabolites in their blood for up to a month after the last ingestion. Due to Oklahoma’s per se law, they can still be found guilty of DUI-drugs even with no THC in their system and after having not smoked for weeks. Furthermore, the statute also makes it possible for you to be held “under the influence” if you’re taking prescribed medication that you ordinarily wouldn’t think would intoxicate someone, such as Prozac, so long as you were rendered incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle. If you are stopped and asked by a law enforcement officer if you’ve taken any drugs, it would be a good idea to not disclose any information about drug use—legal or illegal. If you do, then you could very well be talking yourself into a DUI-drugs charge. Don’t give law enforcement the probable cause they need to further investigate that crime.

Note that an officer will not automatically want to get your blood if you admit to taking drugs. Decrease the officer’s motivation to hit you with more charges by being polite and respectful. An officer will be more likely to throw the book at someone who is rude and combative.

 

License Revocation With DUI Drugs

For license revocation purposes, there’s no distinction between a refusal for DUI-drugs and an alcohol-related DUI refusal. After the revocation period, the driver will still have to place an interlock in their car even though they did not have any alcohol in their system! Keep in mind that DPS only revokes licenses for alcohol in the system—not drugs. If blood is taken and an illegal substance (and no alcohol) is found, the license will not be revoked. The driver will not have to place an interlock in their car. However, test results indicating the presence of drugs will be used for the criminal prosecution.

 

Penalty for DUI Drugs in Oklahoma

The punishments listed below are the criminal penalties. A DUI in Oklahoma also affects the driver’s license. That license revocation process will occur in a civil case with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

The first DUI offense in Oklahoma is a misdemeanor. The range of punishment in the county jail is ten days–one year. The maximum fine is $1,000. Offenders must participate in a certified alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program and follow all recommendations made in the assessment and evaluation.

A DUI is a felony after having been convicted of or received a deferred judgment for a violation of Oklahoma’s DUI/APC law, having been convicted of or received a deferred judgment for a violation of another state’s DUI/APC law, or having been convicted of DUI/APC in a municipal criminal court of record Oklahoma within ten years after completion of the sentence or deferred judgment. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is one–five years. The maximum fine is $2,500. The offender must participate in a certified alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program and may have to follow all recommendations made in the assessment and evaluation.

A DUI after having already been convicted of felony DUI/APC in Oklahoma or another state is a felony. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is one–ten years. The maximum fine is $5,000. The offender must participate in a certified alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program and may have to follow all recommendations made in the assessment and evaluation. The court may require the offender to complete 240 hours of community service and install an ignition interlock device.

A DUI after having already been twice convicted of felony DUI/APC in Oklahoma or another state is a felony. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is 1–20 years. The maximum fine is $5,000. The offender must participate in a certified alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program and may have to follow all recommendations made in the assessment and evaluation. The court may require the offender to complete 480 hours of community service and install an ignition interlock device for at least 30 days. If the offender doesn’t undergo residential treatment, then he or she must serve at least ten days in prison.

A DUI after having already been convicted of second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter in which the death was caused as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance is a felony. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is 5–20 years. The maximum fine is $10,000.

A conviction from another state will not be used to enhance a DUI punishment in Oklahoma if the out-of-state conviction is based on a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.08. Every DUI must be charged in either a state (county) court or an Oklahoma municipal court of record. Currently, only Oklahoma City and Tulsa are Oklahoma municipal courts of record.

If you’re found guilty of DUI, then you must participate in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation assessment program and may be required to attend a victims impact panel. A fine in lieu of community service is not allowed if you’re found guilty of DUI. A $100 fine must be paid to the Drug Abuse and Treatment Revolving Fund upon a DUI conviction.

If you are found guilty of felony DUI, then you may be required to submit to electronic monitoring. Electric monitoring in Oklahoma consists of confinement within a specified location or locations with supervision through an electronic device approved by the Department of Corrections. The device must 1) be designed to detect whether the defendant is in the court-ordered location at the required times and 2) record violations.

If you are over 18 years old and are convicted of DUI while transporting or having any child under 18 years old in the car, then the fine will be enhanced to double the amount of the fine that would have been imposed for the underlying DUI violation. You can also be prosecuted for child endangerment if you are in violation of this law or Oklahoma’s DUI/APC law involving a personal injury accident.

Any plea of guilty, nolo contest, or finding of guilt for a violation of Oklahoma’s DUI/APC law, a violation of another state’s DUI/APC law, a violation of Oklahoma DUI/APC law involving a personal injury accident, or a violation of Oklahoma’s DUI/APC law with at least one child in the vehicle, constitutes a DUI “conviction” for purposes of Oklahoma’s DUI/APC law. A deferred judgment may only constitute a conviction for ten years after probation ends.

Sources: 47 O.S. § 11-902, 22 O.S. § 991a, & 47 O.S. § 1-134

Current as of 6/15/2019.
 

Charged with DUI Drugs in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma DUI lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC for a free case consultation.

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.® 405-633-3420