Attorney Angela Singleton - Oklahoma City Criminal Defense

What Causes DUI Charges to Be Enhanced or Aggravated in Oklahoma?

An enhanced DUI (driving under the influence) occurs if you have a prior DUI within the past 10 years. The previous criminal charge could have been a DUI conviction or a period of probation for a misdemeanor, so your next DUI within that 10-year period is enhanced to a felony DUI. An aggravated DUI is specific to the statute. To be charged with aggravated DUI, you had to have submitted to the state’s test after your arrest, and the test had to show a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or above. An aggravated DUI isn’t necessarily going to be a felony offense, it’s just like a misdemeanor DUI, but there are some additional punishments that the state can lay out for you if you are charged with aggravated DUI.

Are DUI Charges Enhanced If Someone Has Excessive Blood Alcohol Content?

In addition to the regular punishments that are laid out in the statute, up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to a year in jail on a misdemeanor, the state can also ask for some additional penalties if test results show that someone has excessive blood alcohol content, that is .15 or above. That could be mandatory in-patient treatment, probation after you’ve completed that treatment, and you can be subjected to periodic testing and alcohol monitoring during your term of probation. You can be required to have an interlock device installed on your car for an additional amount of time and you can also be sentenced to up to 480 hours of community service.

Can Someone Face Additional Charges If They Were Driving Drunk with a Minor as a Passenger?

Typically, what happens is that the state will charge the DUI as it is, whether that be a misdemeanor or felony based on your history, and then they will add a charge of child endangerment if you were driving drunk with a minor as a passenger. You would face two different charges of child endangerment, a felony, and the DUI.

Is There a Lookback Period for Prior DUI Offenses in Oklahoma?

The look-back period for prior DUI offenses in Oklahoma is 10 years. If within the past 10 years, you had a conviction for a DUI or a deferred sentence for a DUI and you get arrested for a subsequent DUI, then the new charge is going to be a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor.

What Is the Protocol Followed by Police When a DUI Results in an Accident?

The protocol followed by police when a DUI results in an accident depends on the type of accident. If it’s just a typical fender-bender or perhaps a one-car accident, such as running into a light post, then the police will investigate any possible DUI just as they would if you were pulled over for a traffic stop.

Where it changes is if the accident involves great bodily injury or death of another person. To be specific, this can still be a one-car accident. If you are driving and you are suspected of DUI, and you crash into a light post, and a passenger in your vehicle receives great bodily injury or dies, then this statute will come into effect.

The statute says that officers are required to give you a blood test. It’s not like with your typical DUI where you can consent or refuse the test.

This is not something that you can refuse. The protocol for this is going to be dictated by statute.

First, it has to be a specific person who does the blood draw. The officer has to take you to the medical facility where she must witness the draw and take possession of the blood in a very specific way, store it in a specific way and then send it off to be tested in a specific way. These procedures are required by Oklahoma law, and an experienced attorney can review your case and see if law enforcement made any errors.

What Evidence Do Police Look for in a Drunk Driving Accident?

In a drunk driving accident, police are going to be looking for the same things they look for whenever they stop someone on a traffic stop. They’re going to look for bloodshot, watery eyes, difficulties with or slurred speech, and whether a person is unsteady on their feet. They may be looking to see if you smell like alcohol or if there’s alcohol present in the vehicle. They may even perform field sobriety tests. You should never consent to field sobriety tests. These tests are voluntary and there are many reasons you may appear intoxicated during them, even when you are not. Don’t build a case against yourself, tell the office you do not consent to any field sobriety testing.

Being charged with DUI/DWI is serious. A conviction could result in revocation of your driver’s license, suspension of your driving privileges, and jail time. A second DUI arrest when you have prior convictions also brings higher chances for conviction and harsher punishments. It is not something you should try to deal with on your own.

If you’ve been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, especially if it is your second offense, you need an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney that will fight hard for you during your DUI case to obtain the best possible results.

For more information on enhanced or aggravated DUI charges, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (855) 748-8771 today.