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Attorney Murry J. Parrish

Attorney Pepper DeVaughn

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Are You Familiar With Oklahoma’s Implied Consent Law?

Implied consent law in Oklahoma means that, if an officer of the law has legally arrested you for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and has probable cause to believe you are DUI, you have consented to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A BAC of 0.8 or higher is the legal threshold for a DUI.

Implied consent law exists because the accidents caused by alcohol-impaired driving are considered a significant enough threat to public welfare that, in the words of a report on implied consent, people “have no right to obstruct law enforcement in determining their condition,” although at the same time, officers must be warn motorists of penalties for refusing a test.

The test can be conducted of your blood, breath, urine, or saliva. It is a crime to refuse to take the test.

What is probable cause? It could be any circumstance that caused an officer to think you were intoxicated, such as driving erratically or having alcohol on your breath when pulled over for another reason.

There are stiff penalties for refusing to take a DUI test. For the first offense, your license will be suspended for 6 months and you will be mandated to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle at your expense for a year and a half. (An IID requires the driver to breathe into it; if it finds alcohol, then it does not permit the ignition to work, and the car won’t start.)

For a second offense, the license suspension lasts for a year.

That said, an officer cannot force you to take a test if you refuse unless you were involved in a fatal accident or one that caused serious injury. (He or she may also take a test without permission if you are unconscious or have been killed.)

He or she must tell you that your license will be suspended if you refuse.

Refusal to take a test may not help you avoid a DUI conviction. Although the penalties are stiffer for a DUI conviction than for a refusal, it is possible for the prosecution to introduce the fact of your refusal into the record. They could then attempt to make the case that your refusal indicates that you were intoxicated and didn’t want physical evidence of it.

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