Of all the places to face an arrest for drunk driving, Oklahoma is one of the harshest. Ranking among the top states for strict penalties, Oklahoma takes DUI seriously, and your concerns for your future are well founded. In fact, Oklahoma is one of only a handful of states where a second DUI charge within the lookback period is an automatic felony. The lookback period in Oklahoma is ten years.
If you are facing a second or subsequent charge of driving under the influence within the past ten years, you have a lot at stake. You would be wise to seek legal counsel to see what options are available to minimize the penalties you may face.
DUI penalties intensify
Your first DUI conviction may have resulted in up to a year in jail plus fines and fees that totaled more than a thousand dollars. You lost your license for six months and likely attended alcohol education or treatment as part of your sentence. For your second charge, the potential consequences escalate quickly. Second DUI convictions include the following penalties:
- Up to five years in jail
- As much as $2,500 in fines plus additional fees
- One year without your driver's license
- Community service
- Four years of ignition interlock after the state reinstates your license
Ignition interlock is a device that prevents your car from starting if you have alcohol on your breath. This will allow you to drive as long as you don't drink, but it can be expensive, and you are responsible for paying the installation fee and the monthly calibration and maintenance fee. You may also have to attend alcohol treatment and wear an electronic monitor at your expense, so you can see how the cost of a DUI can quickly add up.
Don't face this alone
The long-term consequences of a second DUI include having a felony conviction on your record. This will complicate your efforts to find work, obtain federal assistance and qualify for many important opportunities. With each subsequent offense, the fines go higher, the potential for jail time doubles and the length of license revocation increases. However, you will likely find that even a single DUI conviction can negatively affect many areas of your life.
If you are facing a DUI charge, you would do well to enlist the help of a legal professional with experience in the tough and complex laws related to drunk driving. With such an advocate, you may be able to reduce the penalties you face or avoid conviction altogether.