Definition Of DUI, DWI, & APC In Oklahoma

Oklahoma has two different classifications for drunk driving, DUI and DWI. A DUI charge is more severe than a DWI charge. An APC charge is treated the same as a DUI charge. For the sake of brevity, my book refers to all alcohol-related arrests involving the operation of a motor vehicle as DUI.

Driving Under The Influence – DUI

DUI 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.

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!

Driving While Impaired – DWI

DWI is defined as someone having a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.05 but less than 0.08. The penalties for DWI are less severe than the penalties for DUI. A DWI cannot be used to enhance a future DUI arrest to a felony. DWI is governed by 47 OS §§ 756 & 761.

Actual Physical Control – APC

DUI charges apply when someone is either found to be driving or operating a motor vehicle or the vehicle is under their actual physical control—APC. Generally, actual physical control means that the driver is in the vehicle and could drive it even though he or she might not actually be trying to drive it when the police arrive. The typical scenario for APC is where the individual is driving intoxicated and they pull over to the side of the road to try to sleep it off in the vehicle. The keys may be in their pocket and the vehicle might be shut off. However, they’re considered to be in actual physical control of the vehicle because, theoretically, they could wake up at any time, stick the keys in the ignition, and drive off. APC is treated exactly the same way as if the person were actually driving the vehicle.


For more information on DUI/DWI Offenses & Apc in Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.