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New law provides chance to keep your license after DUI

One of the unavoidable consequences of a DUI conviction is the loss of your driver's license. For a first offense, you may be fortunate to avoid jail time, but losing your license is almost certain. Can you imagine being unable to drive for a year or even a month? How would you get to work? How would you take your children to their activities? How could you complete the many tasks and errands that require driving?

Driver's license suspension is a separate process from the criminal phase of a DUI case. In fact, it is possible to avoid a DUI conviction in criminal court and still lose your driver's license, such as if you refuse to comply with Oklahoma's implied consent law. Implied consent requires you to submit to a blood alcohol test after your arrest for DUI, and the penalty for refusing is the automatic revocation of your license for 30 days. However, a new law may change that.

Is IDAP right for you?

A recently enacted law provides you with a chance to keep your license following a DUI or violation of the implied consent law. The Impaired Driver Accountability Program provides you with options to demonstrate you are resolved not to drink and drive in the future and are therefore a low risk for having your license. To enter this program, you must do the following:

  • Apply for participation in IDAP within 30 days of receiving notice that the state will revoke your license.
  • If the Department of Public Services approves, pay the $200 administrative fee within 45 days of your revocation notice.
  • Install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle within the same 45 days.
  • Show the DPS proof that you have a functioning ignition interlock system on your vehicle.

The ignition interlock requires you to provide a breath sample before you can start the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, it will lock the vehicle's ignition, and you will not be able to start it. Ignition interlock systems can potentially reduce the chances that someone convicted of drunk driving will repeat the offense. At the same time, it provides you with the opportunity to begin putting your arrest behind you and moving forward with your life.

If you are facing drunk driving charges in Oklahoma, you have a limited time to apply for the IDAP. If getting into this program and retaining your driver's license is your goal, you may benefit from the assistance of an attorney who has experience in both the criminal and civil aspects of DUI cases.

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