State officials in Oklahoma take driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs as a serious matter, not only in the context of making it illegal but also in seeking ways to prevent the behavior. One way that the state government seeks to educate the public about the physical and legal risks involved with DUI is through the ENDUI program.
ENDUI has its origins as a program meant to increase statewide anti-DUI enforcement activities before the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday, but the overall activity never ended and has actually increased over time. One of its most recent manifestations has been the introduction in March of four specially equipped vans that do double duty as mobile educational sources as well as traveling breath testing units, equipped with a generator and a built-in intoxicator. Law enforcement uses these ENDUI vans at checkpoints and as reinforcement for DUI enforcement at public events.
Although the ENDUI program is a state-level creation, multiple law enforcement agencies participate in ENDUI prevention teams. One such activity, for example, engaged 16 law enforcement agencies from local, county and state levels in an operation that covered two counties. Stepped-up checkpoints and patrols by such prevention teams are becoming increasingly common during holidays and in areas that are known to have a higher frequency of DUI activity.
ENDUI takes a comprehensive approach that goes beyond efforts to apprehend drunk drivers, although enforcement is a key component of the program. The program’s website is a cornucopia of information for police and the public alike, with pages dedicated to prevention (decisions to make before and after drinking), education (alcohol effects and how the body processes and eliminates alcohol), the immediate and long-term consequences of being arrested for DUI, and even a page dedicated to improving the training of police in activities like field sobriety testing, proper breathalyzer operation and how to qualify as a “drug recognition expert”. Links are also handy for prosecutors and even judges who seek DUI-related training.
Lastly, the website also serves as a clearinghouse of information that goes beyond DUI prevention and law enforcement to include a panoply of reference information, ranging from alcoholism treatment to state and national resource organizations.
To the extent that a program such as ENDUI encourages drivers to behave responsibly when it comes to understanding the effects of alcohol and drugs and avoiding driving when they are under the influence, it is undeniably a good program. But an increased effort to get suspected drunk or drugged drivers off of the roads which results in many more people being arrested and charged with criminal offenses can occasionally become too much of a good thing. No matter how much training they receive, police officers can still make mistakes; not every Oklahoma DUI arrest is as open-and-shut a case as many prosecutors would like you to believe. We have pulled records on officers that show their error rate can be as high as 45%. (ie…they arrested someone for DUI alcohol that later blew under the legal limit). It is not illegal to drink and drive in Oklahoma or any other state. It is only illegal to drink and drive if you consume enough to put you over the legal limit or impairs your ability to safely operating your vehicle.
For anyone who faces DUI charges in Oklahoma, it is imperative to retain effective, experienced legal counsel to prepare and conduct a thorough defense. Many possibilities may exist to challenge the factual or legal bases on which the prosecution will build its case, that a seasoned DUI defense attorney will know how to use to obtain the best possible result given the specific circumstances of each case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI (driving under the influence), APC (actual physical control), or DWI (driving while impaired), contact our Oklahoma DUI attorneys at 405-231-5600 for your free consultation.