There are many misconceptions about Oklahoma driving under the influence (DUI) charges. People don’t always understand which consequences are possible in the event of a conviction and may even have unrealistic ideas about what scenarios might lead to a DUI arrest.
Obviously, someone who has been involved in a motor vehicle collision and is under the influence at the time of the wreck might face arrest. However, many DUI charges are the result not of a traffic stop. Police officers who arrest someone after pulling them over often allege that they violated Oklahoma per se DUI statute.
Per se charges reflect someone’s alcohol levels
There are two conditions that might lead to a police officer arresting someone for a DUI. The first is when someone is obviously under the influence. Slurred speech, difficulty with motor function and other signs of obvious impairment can quickly result in someone’s arrest during a traffic stop. However, someone whose driving seemed normal and whose behavior is still socially acceptable could end up arrested for a per se DUI infraction. When an officer has reason to ask someone to perform a breath test, a result that is over the legal limit is enough to charge that individual with a DUI.
The term per se means “by itself,” which in the context of a DUI arrest refers to a driver’s elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Simply being over the legal limit is enough to warrant charges. For most drivers, a BAC of over 0.08% will lead to DUI charges. Commercial drivers could get arrested for a BAC over 0.04%. Those who are not yet old enough to drink could face charges with a BAC of as low as 0.02%.
Viable defense strategies may be influenced by the circumstances of someone’s arrest. Challenging the accuracy or admissibility of the evidence that police officers gathered is a common strategy utilized by those facing per se DUI charges. Considering every option for defending against Oklahoma DUI charges may help those worried about avoiding a criminal record and the penalties that the courts could impose in the event of a conviction.