It only takes one drink to slow your reflexes and impact your attention span. After two drinks your ability to concentrate is impaired. After three you start to begin to experience physical impairments from the alcohol. Four or more can lead to dizziness, vomiting and passing out.
You have heard this all before. In fact, if you are under 50 years of age, you have heard this continually since you were old enough to understand. Sadly, hearing it so often has made many people tune out these important facts and they do not take the seriousness of operating a vehicle under the influence to heart.
Impaired driving is legally defined as operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most people believe that this charge is for alcohol related offenses only and that drug charges are made separately. If you are charged for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) it could be related to either substance.
It should also be understood that DUI charges can be brought against someone who is operating a vehicle while taking prescription medications. If your medications tell you to refrain from operating heavy machinery, it should be understood that this also includes the operation of a vehicle.
Legal Penalties Associated With A DUI Conviction
If you are convicted of DUI in Oklahoma, you will face both criminal and administrative penalties. These penalties will be based on your age, your blood alcohol content or if you are under the influence of drugs, and your past history of DUI offenses.
If your blood alcohol level is between .05 and .08 percent, you will face a fine of up to $500 and a possible jail term of up to six months.
If your blood alcohol level is over .08 percent, or if you are found to be under the influence of drugs, you will face a fine of up to $1,000 and serve a jail sentence of one day to one year. For your first offense this will be treated as a misdemeanor.
If you are facing a second or third conviction, the fines increase considerably and the charges are changed from misdemeanor to a felony.
The penalties given will be based on the facts of the case. Cases that involve an accident or injuries will result in a more severe penalty.
In addition to the criminal penalties that you will face, you can also expect the following administrative penalties for being convicted of a DUI:
- License suspension
- Requirement to undergo an Alcohol and Drug Evaluation
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
- Penalties for reinstating license
- Penalties for Trauma Care and Mental Health programs
- Paperwork processing fees
The length of the license suspension will be based on the facts concerning your case.
Personal Penalties For DUI Conviction
The criminal and administrative parts of a DUI conviction are pretty straight forward. If you are convicted, you will pay a penalty. However, there are many personal penalties that you will also pay if you are convicted. Most people do not consider these issues until they are forced to face them after a conviction.
- A conviction may make it harder to get a job or a promotion. You must now disclose on your applications that you have been convicted of a DUI. This may prevent you from getting certain jobs or from excelling in your current position. This can affect you for a very long time.
- Transportation hardships. Since your driving privileges have been taken away, you will now have to rely on the generosity of others to get you to and from work, the store and other appointments. You may be required to pay for public transportation or cabs, or simply finding yourself riding a bike or walking.
- Financial hardships will happen. You will be required to pay fines and many administrative costs. In addition to these costs, you will now have to pay for your personal transportation and possibly pay more for other services to compensate for not being able to drive.
- Relationships can become strained. Your family and friends will react to your conviction in many different ways. Some of these ways may not be pleasant. Additionally, if you turn to them for help with transportation or financial issues, the relationships may become even more strained.
- Social issues may also occur. Sometimes people will begin to treat you differently if they think that you have a drug or alcohol problem. Even if you do not and this conviction was based on one simple bad decision, the stigma of having a problem will always be there.
There Is Hope – A DUI Arrest Is Not A Conviction
If you have been arrested for DUI or similar drug charges, you must remember that this is not a conviction. In fact, it is not even a guaranteed conviction. When you have been arrested you are simply being charged with a crime. You must be proven guilty in a court of law to be convicted.
While it is true that you can represent yourself in this type of case, it will be to your benefit if you seek legal help from a Tulsa DUI attorney. Having an attorney represent your case ensures that you will receive the best possible outcome to the charges.
Your Tulsa DUI attorney will provide you with the following benefits:
- Knowledge of all current laws concerning DUI
- Knowledge of all relevant cases concerning DUI in Oklahoma
- Knowledge of the arrest process
- Knowledge of the testing process
- Knowledge of the best possible defenses for your specific case
Your attorney will review all of the details about your case and then aggressively begin to work on a defense that best suits the situation.
An attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of any case. A Tulsa DUI attorney cannot guarantee that you will not be convicted of the charges against you, it would simply be unprofessional to do such a thing. However, your attorney can guarantee that they will work diligently to build a superior defense on your behalf and that they will work with you and the court to come to the best possible solution to this type of charge.