Most everyone knows that Oklahoma has a DUI/DWI law which makes it a crime to operate a vehicle on public roadways when the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08%, and in fact driving with a .08% BAC or higher is a crime in all 50 states. But what people may be surprised to learn is that it is possible to be arrested for a DUI in Oklahoma even if your BAC level is below .08%.
Of course, being arrested is not the same as being convicted of a DUI, but it would be a mistake to think you can walk into court after an Oklahoma DUI arrest, simply tell the judge your BAC was below .08% (even if there is a blood or breathalyzer test which shows a lower BAC), and expect to walk away without consequence. Contact a an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney for assistance in your particular situation.
The Various Ways to Be Convicted of DUI in Oklahoma
According to Oklahoma law, it is a crime to “drive, operate, or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state, whether upon public roads, highways, streets, turnpikes, other public places or upon any private road, street, alley or lane which provides access to one or more single or multi-family dwellings” when the person in question:
- Shows a BAC of .08% or higher on a blood or breath test within two hours after the arrest; OR
- Is under the influence of alcohol; OR
- Has any amount of a Schedule I drug or chemical in his system within two hours after the arrest; OR
- Is under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol which may render such 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 such person incapable of safely driving or operating a motor vehicle
Note that it does not matter whether the intoxicating substance in question is legal or not, i.e. a prescribed drug.
Thus, based on the way Oklahoma’s DUI statute reads, you can potentially be convicted of a DUI without a .08% BAC reading so long as you were “under the influence of alcohol.”
Defending Yourself in a Oklahoma DUI Charge
If you have been charged with a DUI when you were under the BAC limit, you clearly want to take the charge seriously, and there are a number of strategies that your criminal defense attorney can pursue on your behalf to reach your best possible outcome, including:
- Arguing that you were not driving or otherwise in control of the vehicle
- Presenting evidence that you were not on a public roadway or other place covered by the DUI statute at the time
- Arguing that you were not sufficiently influenced by alcohol or other intoxicating substance to be convicted
- Challenging the constitutionality of the police stop of your car (e.g. no reasonable suspicion or an improper checkpoint)
- Negotiating for a less serious charge and/or sentence
Even if police did take a breathalyzer or blood test showing you were over the BAC limit, your attorney can additionally argue:
- The police used improper procedures in measuring your BAC
- The equipment was not properly working
Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the particulars of your Oklahoma DUI arrest.
Work With an Experienced Oklahoma DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI violation in Oklahoma, you may be facing serious consequences if convicted, not to mention damage to your personal and professional reputation. J. Patrick Quillian, Attorney at Law, is a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma City with years of experience in obtaining favorable outcomes in DUI matters. Contact him today to schedule a consultation regarding your DUI matter.