Have you been charged with DUI and are wondering what’s going to happen to your drivers license?
Breathalyzer laws in Oklahoma can be complex, not to mention strict. When you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence not only do you face potential consequences with the State of Oklahoma you have a whole separate battle to fight against the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. The State of Oklahoma gets involved when they file criminal charges and prosecute you for the crime. In addition, because of the nature of the charge, the Department of Public Safety gets involved and can potentially revoke your driving privileges. If you are charged with DUI in the State of Oklahoma, it is important to be familiar with the Erin Swezey Act and how it can affect your driver’s license. The Erin Swezey Act went into effect in Oklahoma in 2011. The Act imposes harsher drivers license-related punishments for people charged with DUI. How the Act affects you depends on several factors including: whether you refused the breathalyzer test or consented to taking it; if you consented to taking the breathalyzer test, what your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was; and whether you have been subject to license revocation before. Below is an outline of how Erin Swezey Act works:
1st License Revocation
- BAC less than 0.15 – 6 month revocation, eligible for a fully modified license with Ignition Interlock Device. Nothing further required by the Erin Swezey Act.
- BAC greater than 0.15 or refusal – 6 month revocation, driving privileges with Ignition Interlock Device. Under the Erin Swezey Act, upon completion of the 6 month revocation, Ignition Interlock Device required for an additional 18 months.
2nd License Revocation (within 10 years)
- 12 month revocation, Ignition Interlock Device required for the duration of your revocation period. The Erin Swezey Act requires that upon completion of your revocation period, an Ignition Interlock Device is required for an additional 4 years.
3rd License Revocation (within 10 years)
- 3 year revocation, Ignition Interlock Device required for the duration of revocation, upon conclusion of your revocation period, an Ignition Interlock Device is required for an additional 5 years.
It is important to note that the additional Ignition Interlock Device periods do not start until the individual’s license is reinstated. In order for the individual to get their license reinstated, the Ignition Interlock Device must be installed. The result is that while an individual can forgo their driving privileges for the initial revocation period and not have an Ignition Interlock Device installed, the additional period during which the Ignition Interlock device is required CANNOT be avoided.
For many people, the complexity of this Act leaves them wondering – to blow or not to blow. As illustrated above, there are some situations where you can face a harsher penalty for refusing the breathalyzer test than you would if you took the test and failed. So should you blow? Not necessarily. It is important to remember that if you take the breathalyzer test and the test indicates that your breath alcohol content is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, that result becomes damaging evidence against you, increasing your chances of being convicted of DUI. Given the complexity of these laws, it is always best to speak to an experienced lawyer if you have been either accused of DUI or a wrongful refusal.
Driving Under the Influence is a crime that is taken very seriously in this State. Prosecutors and judges take a hard stance on punishment for people who drink and drive. When you are charged with DUI, you face potential consequences with both your drivers license and your freedom. The clock starts ticking the moment you are arrested. Don’t wait to hire the experienced attorneys of Stockwell & Clark to begin aggressively defending your legal rights.