Drinking alcohol and driving afterwards are two things that you should avoid doing in combination as much as you possibly can. A deadly combination, drinking and driving not only puts you in a situation where you can possibly be arrested; they also put your health, well-being, and life in danger. This is one of the main reasons why the Oklahoma DUI (Driving under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) laws are so stringent.
In Oklahoma, when you drink and then drive, you are putting yourself at risk for being arrested for “Driving under the Influence,” (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI). The laws surrounding these acts are very strict with convictions having varying levels of severity. Depending on the situation and the circumstances, you may end up having your license suspended for up to three years as well as face jail time up to 20 years and/or fines up to $7500.00.
What Happens When You Drink Alcohol
Learning more about what happens to your body when you consume alcohol is the key to understanding why tough Oklahoma DUI or Oklahoma DWI laws are being implemented.
Consuming alcohol results in your body’s reaction time becoming slower. Your senses also become impaired. This is true even if you drink alcohol in small amounts. You may believe that you are sober because you only drank a glass of beer or wine, but according to medical experts, even a small amount like this already has an impairing impact on your motor vehicle driving abilities. The legal question we are concerned with is whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it may render him or her incapable of safely driving the vehicle. It is not illegal to drink and drive in Oklahoma….it is only illegal if you are above the legal limit or it renders a driver incapable of safely driving the vehicle.
Blood Alcohol Levels Used by Oklahoma Authorities
Oklahoma authorities also have a “per se DUI” breath or blood alcohol level where they do not need to show that you were incapable of safely operating the motor vehicle. They only have to show that your BAC was a certain level or more. They check for this by conducting an Intoxilyzer (also known as a breathalyzer) test. Oklahoma is not the only state that considers 0.08 as the legal limit for drivers age 21 or older – all other states do. It is also worthy to note that motorists under the age of 21 has a zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Thus, the limit for a person under the age of 21 is 0.02%. Commercial drivers have a 0.04% legal limit if they are in a commercial vehicle.
A person should also understand that there are many factors that play significant roles in determining BAC. These include gender, weight, health issues and the number of drinks consumed as well as the period of time the drinks were consumed.
One drink generally can be classified as any of the following:
- A single 12 fl. oz. serving of beer
- A single 5 fl. oz. serving of wine
- A single 1.5 fl. oz. shot of any type of hard liquor
Generally having one drink will not result in having a BAC that is above the legal limit for persons over the age of 21. However, it is crucial to understand that there are many variables that can cause a high or falsely high breath alcohol reading so if in doubt, arrange for another way to get to your destination.