There are pros and cons to either choice, but it is generally a better idea to request a hearing.
Requesting A Hearing
A hearing must be requested within 15 days of arrest. If that is not done then your only option is to get a modified license, which means that an interlock will be installed in your car. There are several benefits to requesting a hearing. The first is that you might win the hearing on its merits and not have your license revoked. If the officer did not meet the requirements in taking your license per 47 OS § 754 then you will get to keep your license.
47 OS § 754 outlines the scope of the issues covered in the hearing:
- If the revocation or denial is based upon a breath or blood test result and a sworn report from a law enforcement officer, the scope of the hearing shall also cover the issues as to whether:
- if timely requested by the person, the person was not denied a breath or blood test,
- the specimen was obtained from the person within two hours of the arrest of the person,
- the person, if under twenty-one years of age, was advised that driving privileges would be revoked or denied if the test result reflected the presence of any measurable quantity of alcohol,
- the person, if twenty-one years of age or older, was advised that driving privileges would be revoked or denied if the test result reflected an alcohol concentration of eight-hundredths (0.08) or more, and
- the test result in fact reflects the alcohol concentration.
- If the revocation or denial is based upon the refusal of the person to submit to a breath or blood test, reflected in a sworn report by a law enforcement officer, the scope of the hearing shall also include whether:
- the person refused to submit to the test or tests, and
- the person was informed that driving privileges would be revoked or denied if the person refused to submit to the test or tests.
A second reason to have the hearing is that you may win due to the officer not showing up. Many of these hearings happen months after the arrest. Some happen over a year later. A lot can go on during that time. Officers can quit, get fired, change jobs, etc. So, you may luck out and win if the officer doesn’t show up. A third reason you may win is when there is a long delay between the request for a hearing and when the hearing is conducted. Many license revocations have been thrown out recently due to the hearing occurring more than a year after the request for hearing was made. The delay of longer than a year is considered a violation of the right to speedy trial. You must appeal the license revocation to the district court to have a chance at winning on the third reason.
Requesting A Modified Driver’s License
The authority for DPS to issue a modified driver’s license (interlock) comes from 47 OS § 754.1. A modified license can be requested through DPS at any point before the hearing occurs—even after the 15-day deadline for requesting a hearing. After the hearing, DPS is no longer able to modify your license for the revocation period. Modification after the hearing requires an appeal to the district court. The right to appeal a DPS hearing to an Oklahoma district court is covered in 47 OS §§ 6-211 & 755. The district court may modify the revocation or denial when it is determined by the court that the person whose license or permit to drive has been revoked or denied has no other adequate means of transportation and may enter a written order directing DPS to allow driving, subject to the limitations of 47 OS § 6-205. Any modification under this provision applies to Class D (non-CDL) motor vehicles only. You must pay DPS a $175 modification fee, which is in addition to the monthly interlock fee.
Getting a modified license is not a guaranteed thing. If a person’s arrest involved any of the following situations, then it’s likely that DPS will not grant a modified driver’s license:
- Major injury accident
- Hit and run/leaving scene of accident
- Hitting a pedestrian – collision with injury
- Resisting arrest
- Assault and battery on any law enforcement officer
- Attempting to elude an officer
- Child in the vehicle (endangerment of a minor child)
- Driver was in violation of an existing modification at the time
- Driver had circumvented an existing interlock device
If DPS denies your license modification, then you can appeal to the district court. The district court could modify your license despite involvement in any of the above situations, however you will need to present a compelling case to the district court.
You can’t have just any interlock installed in your car. Oklahoma has an approved list of interlock vendors and devices, which is located here: https://pay.apps.ok.gov/bot/ignition/app/list_manufacturers.php.
47 OS § 6-205.2 – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=440142
Criteria for offering modifications – https://ok.gov/dps/documents/Criteria%20for%20Offering%20Mod%20Doc.pdf
For more information on a DPS Hearing 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.