Yukon DUI Lawyers

What is a DUI?

The definition of DUI varies from state to state:

DUI is an acronym for Driving Under the Influence. Every state has its own specific DUI laws, but in all states it comes down to a few basic criteria:

  1. You must be driving, operating, or in actual physical control of;

  2. a motorized vehicle;

  3. in a specific location (usually one of public nature); and

  4. You must have consumed or ingested excessive alcohol or some other intoxicating substance.

In Oklahoma, you can be charged with a DUI if there is ANY amount of a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance (or one of its metabolites or analogs) in your blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid up to two (2) hours after arrest.

Fun Fact: The laws surrounding DUIs and DWIs can apply even to Lime and Bird scooters. 

DUI based on Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Almost all 50 states set the legal limit for BAC at 0.08%. Above that level, you can get a DUI even if you’re not visibly impaired. If you are a commercial driver, the limit may be lower.

 

BAC can be measured one of three ways:

  • Blood sample (generally the most accurate);

  • Urine sample (generally the least accurate); and 

  • Breath test.

Outside factors that might affect your BAC include:

  • Body size

  • Biological sex

  • Physical condition

  • Medications you take

  • What you've eaten (and when)

  • How much sleep you've had

  • Alcohol content of your drinks

  • What mixer is in your drink (sugarless mixers increase the rate of alcohol absorption)

Fun Fact: Your BAC may even sometimes be over the legal limit the morning after a fun night out on the town. This can result in an unexpected DUI or DWI. 

DWI Based on Impairment

You can also receive a sort of DUI with BAC levels below the legal limit or after taking intoxicating drugs/medications (even legal ones). There is a different name for this type of lesser offense - Driving while impaired (DWI). 

If you get pulled over, the officer may have you perform one or more field sobriety tests:

  • Stand on one leg without losing your balance

  • Walk heel-to-toe in a straight line

  • Track a slowly moving object with your eyes

  • Recite the ABCs backwards

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test

They may also make note of things like whether you smell of alcohol or your speech is slurred.

States differ on how they define impairment. In some states, even the slightest impairment is grounds to convict you of a DUI - this is often referred to as a "no tolerance policy". In others, the prosecutor has to show that you were not able to drive with the same care as a sober person.

Penalties for a DUI

In most cases, a first-offense DUI (no injuries or damage) is a misdemeanor. But if someone is injured, you could be charged with a felony DUI, and reckless homicide if someone does die.

A third DUI (and sometimes even a second) may also be a felony.

You can also face serious penalties even for a misdemeanor:

  • Jail time: for a first offense, sentences may range from a 10 days to 1 year.

  • Fines: these vary, but expect to pay at least $100 and possibly several thousand dollars.

  • Drivers license suspension: for a first-time offense, this may last only a few weeks.

  • Compliance with recommendations from a treatment specialist or community service.

  • Ignition interlock device: this device calculates your BAC based on a breath sample. The car won’t start if your BAC is too high (often 0.02% or higher).

Aggravated DUI, which can result from added complications such as having an especially high BAC, usually increases jail time, fines, or both. The BAC level at which extra penalties kick in varies, but tends to range between .15% and .20%.

Other drunk driving acronyms

Although DUI is one of the most common terms used to describe impaired driving, some states use others, either in addition to or instead of DUI:

  • DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated

  • OUI, or Operating Under the Influence

  • OWI, or Operating While Intoxicated

  • OMVI, or Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated

  • OVI, or Operating a Vehicle Impaired

  • DUIL, or Driving Under the Influence of Liquor

States may also use these acronyms in an effort to better describe the offense. For example, Ohio previously used OMVI but changed its laws to include non-motorized vehicles, like bicycles, so it started using OVI instead.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, a lawyer can help you determine your options pursuant to Oklahoma law.

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