When you make plans to meet some friends at a favorite Oklahoma pub or restaurant for a relaxing night on the town, you likely aren’t expecting to wind up in jail at the end of the evening. In most instances, the chances of such a thing happening are extremely remote; however, if you plan to imbibe any alcoholic beverages while having a great time with your friends, the low chances significantly increase.

You may be among many other conscientious residents in the state who make it a practice to invite a designated driver along when planning to consume alcohol at social events. On the other hand, just because you have a drink or two, then drive yourself home, doesn’t necessarily mean you are breaking the law. There are a few things to keep in mind, though, such as the fact that even one DUI conviction in this state may lead to having to install an interlock breath test device in your vehicle.

State law governs use of these devices

Oklahoma law is very specific when it comes to ignition interlock devices, as the brief list of facts below confirms:

  • Even if it is the first time you are convicted of DUI, state law may require you to install one of these devices in your car.
  • Typically, if your blood alcohol content level registered at .15 or higher, chances are you will be prohibited from driving unless you have an interlock system and test negative for alcohol each time you want to start your vehicle.
  • If a police officer lawfully requested that you take a breath or chemical test and you refused, you may be required to install an interlock system if the court hands down a conviction.
  • Once you install the system, you may have to keep it installed for approximately 18 months.

These facts only pertain to first time convictions. If you are convicted of DUI in Oklahoma more than once, you can assume penalties will be much more severe, often including jail time and probation; the court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device for as many as five years. Even if you know you only had a small amount of alcohol in your system, it is still possible that things may not go your way in court if you fight the charges against you.

Nothing can ruin a night out with friends like having to call home and tell the rest of your family that you’re in jail on suspicion of intoxicated driving. Avoiding conviction may be possible; it often hinges on securing experienced representation to build a strong defense.