In Oklahoma, someone could face driving while impaired (DWI) charges if they seem to struggle at the wheel and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is over 0.05% but under 0.08%. Once someone’s BAC reaches 0.08%, the state can charge them with a driving under the influence (DUI) offense. There are slightly different rules for underage drivers and those operating commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks.
Someone who pleads guilty to DUI charges in Oklahoma or gets convicted at a trial will face a variety of penalties. The circumstances leading to someone’s arrest and their prior record will impact what penalties the courts impose. A judge could order their incarceration or require that they pay sizable fines. The state can also suspend someone’s driver’s license. Even after someone gets their driving privileges back, they will likely experience ongoing challenges related to their conviction. For example, a DUI offense will very likely increase how much in Oklahoma driver pays for car insurance.
How much will insurance premiums increase?
Not all penalties related to a DUI conviction come directly from the judge. There are social and financial challenges that may arise because someone now has a criminal record. People can lose their jobs or face more of a challenge obtaining housing or private scholarships for college because they have a criminal record. They may also need to pay more to drive after a conviction because the offense will influence their insurance rates.
Exactly how much someone pays for insurance depends on their situation. An individual’s age and sex play a major role in their insurance costs. Driving history is also crucial, as those who have caused collisions or who have multiple traffic violations on their record are more likely to cost the company money in the future.
Impaired driving has a strong association with severe collisions and can therefore have a dramatic influence on what someone pays for their insurance coverage. The average increase in Oklahoma insurance prices after a DUI conviction is 86%. A driver with a DUI on their record will need to continue paying those higher premiums for at least three years. In some cases, they may face higher costs for five years. Oklahoma state law does not dictate how long insurers can charge drivers more.
Those who are aware of how a guilty plea to an Oklahoma DUI charge might affect their future may feel more inclined to mount a defense against those charges in court. Seeking legal guidance can provide additional clarity in this regard.