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In June 2017, Governor Mary Fallin signed SB 643, amending the DUI law in Oklahoma. The changes in the bill, referred to as the “Impaired Driving Elimination Act 2” will go into effect on November 1, 2017. There are many small changes to the DUI law contained in the Act, but two very substantive changes will go into effect: (1)Requirement of interlock devices/creation of the Department of Public Safety Impaired Driver Accountability Program, and (2)criminalization of refusing to take a breathalyzer test. This blog post will focus on the requirement of interlock devices and the creation of the Department of Public Safety Impaired Driver Accountability Program.
Interlock devices are not new in Oklahoma. Ignition interlock systems are devices used to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking alcohol. The device uses a built-in breathalyzer and set to a pre-programmed amount. If the driver blows into the device and exceeds that amount, the interlock locks the vehicle’s ignition. The cost of an Interlock device can quickly add up with install fees, monthly monitoring, etc. The current law requires interlock devices for first time offenders when he/she has a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more (aggravated driving under the influence). The current law also provides provisions for more severe interlock restrictions for subsequent DUI offenses. However, the new law effective November 1, 2017 will require interlock devices for conviction (or plea) of all DUI offenses.
Offenders will have the option of entering the Impaired Driver Accountability Program, or challenging the DUI charge through the court process. The IDAP program requires strict compliance with rules, but will allow a clean record following completion of the program. Challenging the DUI charge through the court process could result in longer suspensions.
The final version of the bill can be viewed here.
In the Bill Summary prepared on May 24, 2017, the legislature stated the following regarding the Act:
|Knowingly allowing a person required to use an interlock device to drive a vehicle without one||A misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in county jail|
|Willfully attempting to interfere with the proper functioning of the interlock device||A misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in county jail|
|A person who is required to drive a vehicle with an interlock device who does not (with the exception of an employer’s vehicle)||A misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in county jail|
This blog post is not intended to be a full summary of the new Oklahoma DUI law. If you have questions regarding the new law, contact one of our Tulsa DUI lawyers for a consultation regarding your specific facts and circumstances.
 47 §11-902 (D)