Changes to DUI laws in Oklahoma gives option to join ‘Impaired Driver Accountability Program’

Changes will take effect November 1st.

Anyone arrested for a DUI in Oklahoma will now have 2 options starting November 1st.

Senate Bill 712 states that a person arrested under suspicion of a DUI can either go directly to the District Court of Appeals to fight the case or join the ‘Impaired Driver Accountability Program’ within 30 days of their arrest.

“If you’re going to appeal this, you’re going directly to a district judge, so he is actually going to listen to the evidence, where before the Department of Public Safety really didn’t listen to the evidence. I think it’s a vast improvement. The good side to this driver accountability program is I guess it gives you the opportunity to voluntarily put a breathalyzer on your car without having to appeal it” said Miami Attorney, Ken Gallon.

If they choose to join the program, it is a $200 fee. It will require the person to install an ignition interlock device for a certain period, depending on whether it is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd offense.

A 1st offense driver will have to have an interlock device in their vehicle for six months. A 2nd offense will get 1 year with the device, and a 3rd offense driver will get 3 years with the device.

“All these changes are for class D driver’s license, so that’s just a regular driver’s license. They do not apply to CDL’s” added Gallon.

If a driver completes the program without violation, their license will not be revoked.

Ottawa County resident Jenna Arnett, says the option for this program could be a good thing.

“Just my experience with court systems, some things can become lengthy, so I mean as a first time person if this was just an isolated incident, it might be quicker and faster for you to just agree to pay the money and put the breathalyzer in your car and move on. It could depend on the case and situation, but it seems like it’s maybe a quicker option and hopefully it would be more effective.”

The Department of Public Safety can extend the period of the ignition interlock if a violation occurs.
“For people that drink and drive, they want to know that you are not drinking and driving anymore”-attorney” added Gallon.

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