Oklahoma is one of the many states now requiring jail time for first offenders convicted of drinking and driving. In addition to jail time of up to one year, the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a misdemeanor and the offender will pay fines and receive six-month driver’s license suspension. For repeat offenders in Oklahoma, the laws are even tougher. A second offender could spend up to 5 years in jail, pay fines up to $2,500, and must install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they drive.
In 2011, Oklahoma toughened up their DUI laws even more when the state passed the Erin Swezey Act. Named for a young girl killed by a repeat drunk driver, it requires ignition interlock devices for all first time driving under the influence offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher and all repeat offenders. The Act also allows first time offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 to drive during their six-month suspension if they install an interlock device.
If you’ve received a DUI conviction in Oklahoma and are required to install an ignition interlock device under the Erin Swezey Act, you’ll probably wonder how it works to prevent drunk driving. Once the interlock device is installed, you’ll be asked to provide a breath sample each and every time you want to start your vehicle. The sample will be analyzed, and your results will be displayed on the display of the interlock device. If you receive a pass, you’ll be able to start your vehicle. If you receive a fail, you’ll have to wait a period of time to test again.
Rolling retests are a source of confusion for some Oklahoma drivers, but in reality the test is very simple. Once you are driving for a period of time, you’ll be asked to provide another breath sample. You’ll be given a short time frame to provide the breath sample, so if you’d like to pull over you’ll have time to do so.
If the sample you provide is over the limit set by your interlock provider, your car horn will honk and your lights will flash. Your car will never just turn off automatically and leave you stranded, and you’ll have time to pull over somewhere safely and turn your vehicle off.
Oklahoma DUI laws require a first offender to install an interlock device for up to 18 months, while repeat offenders may be required to take part in the interlock program for up to 5 years. For more information on Oklahoma DUI laws, visit Guardian Interlock’s Oklahoma State law page.