DUI Implied Consent
If you have an Oklahoma driver’s license, you are legally obligated to comply with the state’s Implied Consent Law. If you have no idea what that means, you are not alone—the term is unfamiliar to most drivers. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important legal guidelines you should know.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and Chemical Testing: A Brief Overview
According to federal lawmakers, your ability to drive becomes impaired when the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream reaches a percentage of 0.08% or more. As such, you may face criminal DUI charges if you are caught driving with an illegal amount of alcohol in your system—regardless of whether or not you are actually impaired at the time.
When it comes to Oklahoma’s BAC guidelines, there are two exceptions to the federal 0.08% limit:
- If you are under 21, you can be charged with DUI for having even a small amount of alcohol in your system. Since you are not legally allowed to consume alcohol until you are 21, underage drivers can be arrested for driving under the influence if their BAC is 0.02% or higher.
- Commercial vehicle operators also have less leeway under the state’s strict 0.04% blood alcohol limit.
Law enforcement officials rely on breathalyzers and other chemical testing methods to determine a driver’s BAC. If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you can expect him or her to ask you to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample for BAC testing.
Your Responsibilities as a Driver
When you first received your driver’s license, you agreed to abide by the state’s traffic and safety laws. Along with driving within the posted speed limit, obeying traffic lights, and staying in the correct lane, this included promising to adhere to the Implied Consent Law.
In simple terms, this law requires you to submit to chemical testing if you are ever suspected of driving under the influence—and accordingly, if you refuse to allow an officer to perform a breathalyzer or other chemical test, you will be arrested and charged with violating the state’s Implied Consent Law.
Depending on the circumstances, the penalties for refusing a chemical test will be just as severe, or even more so than a standard DUI conviction—with even a first offense carrying a mandatory six-month suspension, fine, and possible jail time.
Given the penalties you will face if you are convicted of an Implied Consent violation, it is important to have legal counsel when your day in court arrives. With the right defense strategy, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.