The holiday season in Oklahoma usually signals a period of enjoyment, but it also increases the number of people who are driving while drunk. Drunk or intoxicated drivers can take the merriment out of a joyous occasion. DUIs also come with severe penalties in almost all states, which include the loss of one’s license, jail time and court fines.
Holiday DUI stats and facts
Law enforcement steps up its patrol during the holidays as an effort to curtail drunk driving, so thousands of drivers face charges annually. The National Highway Travel Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the 210 fatal crashes that occurred from Christmas to New Years’ Eve in the 2019 holiday season involved alcohol. Accidents involving alcohol make up around 37% of total fatal crashes and cause around $44 billion in damages annually, based on current stats.
Though the number of DUI-related crashes dropped to 611 in 2018, the number of crashes involving DUI could increase under certain conditions, such as a pandemic. Many states make it illegal to drive under the influence of other substances, such as marijuana or prescription medication, even if they are legal.
Penalties for a first DUI in Oklahoma
The penalties for a DUI in Oklahoma vary based on the type of charge and circumstance. A first-time DUI offense in Oklahoma commonly counts as a misdemeanor and results in a minimum of a 10-day jail sentence and up to one year of maximum jail time. The minimum fine is $1,000, but it could increase if a minor was in the vehicle.
Oklahoma’s legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level is .08, like most other states. However, a driver could be charged with DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, with a BAC of .06 to .07.
Getting a DUI can be an inconvenience even for a minor offense. However, it doesn’t mean the results have to go unchallenged as errors occur. Individuals who are convicted of DUI have the right to consult an attorney.