DUI 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.
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. 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.
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.
For more information on Penalties For Drug DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.