Glossary Of Common DUI Terms
Unless you work in the court system, chances are you may be unfamiliar with some of the terms associated with a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. While the following list is by no means conclusive, it does explain some of the most common terms.
Administrative License Suspension: Any person who fails the breathalyzer test or violates the Implied Consent law by refusing to take it is subject to an administrative driver’s license suspension, which occurs even before the criminal case is decided.
Aggravated DUI: When a driver’s BAC is over .15%, he or she may be charged with an aggravated DUI offense, which carries higher penalties than a standard DUI.
APC (or Actual Physical Control): In Oklahoma, if you are in physical control of a vehicle—whether you are driving or asleep with the keys within your possession—you can be charged with APC and face the same penalties as a DUI.
BAC (or Blood Alcohol Content): The percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream, which can be measured by a blood, breath or urine test. In Oklahoma, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher.
Breathalyzer: The breath test used to measure BAC.
BUI: Short for Boating Under the Influence.
Chemical Test: Breath, blood or urine tests used to measure BAC or drugs in an intoxicated driving suspect.
CDL: An abbreviation for “commercial driver’s license,” CDL holders are subject to being charged with DUI for operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of only .04%.
Community Service: Required as part of the DUI sentence, community service is work performed for a government or non-profit agency without compensation.
DPS (Department of Public Safety): The Oklahoma agency responsible for imposing the administrative driver’s license suspension.
Drug and Alcohol Assessment: This assessment is used to determine if a DUI offender has a problem with alcohol or drugs and to provide treatment recommendations in cases of alcohol or substance dependence or abuse.
DUI School: One of the penalties for a drunk-driving conviction, DUI School educates offenders on the risks of drinking and driving to prevent future occurrences.
DUI (Driving Under the Influence): The act of operating a motor vehicle while compromised by intoxicating substances and/or with a BAC above the legal limit.
DUS/DUR: Stands for Driving Under Suspension or Driving Under Revocation. You can be arrested if you drive without a valid license.
DWI (Driving While Impaired): A lesser offense than DUI, a driver may be charged with a DWI for operating a vehicle with a BAC of .06% or .07%.
Felony DUI: More serious than a misdemeanor offense, habitual offenders or those who commit an additional crime—such as causing serious bodily injury during an alcohol-related accident—could be charged with a felony DUI. This carries a higher sentence than misdemeanor DUI.
Ignition Interlock Device: Also known as an IID, a small device mounted to the dashboard that measures the driver’s breath before the vehicle can start. If the driver’s BAC is over a pre-set limit, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting. It is sometimes ordered as a condition of license reinstatement.
Implied Consent Laws: Any person who applies for an Oklahoma driver’s license automatically implies that he or she will consent to a chemical blood alcohol test if stopped on suspicion of DUI. The penalty for violating this law is an automatic license suspension.
License Revocation: The cancellation of driving privileges. Any person whose license is revoked must reapply for a license once the revocation period has expired.
License Suspension: When the DPS takes away a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle for a specified period of time.
Misdemeanor: Less serious than a felony, misdemeanor DUIs are punishable by up to one year in county jail.
Modified License: Available only to those with one DUI in the past five years, a modified license requires the driver to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle in order to drive.
Open Container Laws: Operating a vehicle with an open container of alcohol within reach is against the law in Oklahoma.
Probation: Ordered in lieu of jail time for good behavior, those who are on probation must obey certain terms and conditions as well as avoid any further violations in order to avoid reinstatement of the jail sentence.
Provisional (or Restricted) License: See Modified License.
Sobriety Checkpoint: A roadblock set up by law enforcement agents to screen drivers for possible DUI.
Victims Impact Panel: Required for those convicted of DUI in Oklahoma, a victims impact panel is a meeting of those who have been impacted by a drunk-driving accident, either personally or through a loved one.
Work Permit: In many states, a work permit is granted to those who lose their driving privileges so they can continue to drive to work; however, this is not an option in Oklahoma.
Zero Tolerance BAC: Under this law, driving with any amount of measurable BAC is a crime for drivers under the age of 21.