DUI and DWI can be serious driving offenses with significant legal consequences for motorists. While these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they actually have different legal meanings.
Oklahoma has several regulations that differentiate the penalties and legal implications associated with DUI and DWI in the state.
DUI vs. DWI
While the terms DUI and DWI are often used interchangeably, some states, including Oklahoma, make distinctions between them. It all comes down to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels; DUI involves a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured at or above 0.08, whereas DWI is 0.06 or 0.07. However, lower limits may apply to certain individuals, such as commercial and underage drivers.
For a licensed driver over the age of 21, the following rules apply when it comes to BAC levels:
- 001 to 0.05 does not imply impairment
- 051 to 0.079 is proof of intoxication, but more evidence is necessary for conviction
- 08- higher is intoxicated according to the law
Like most offenses, the penalties for DWI and DUI convictions get progressively harsher the more charges a motorist racks up. Individuals convicted of DUI or DWI may face fines, license suspension and even imprisonment.
First-time offenders may face jail time ranging between 10 days to one year. They may also have to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and their driver’s license may be revoked for 180 days.
Second-time offenses within ten years of the first offense can result in:
- One-year driver’s license revocation for motorists whose license was revoked within the past five years
- Jail time ranging between one to five years
- Six months to three years to ignition interlock device requirement after the license revocation period
- Fine up to $2,500
For third and more offenses, the fine goes up to $5,000, and jail time ranges between one and ten years. Moreover, the driver’s license can be revoked for up to three years if the motorist had two or more previous revocations within the past five years. Convicts might also have to fulfill an ignition interlock device requirement for up to three years following the license revocation period.
Understanding the difference between DUI and DWI is essential for all motorists. Both offenses carry severe consequences, and legal proceedings can be complex. Being informed about the laws, penalties and preventive measures can be key to making informed decisions when facing charges.