DWI and DUI in Oklahoma

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DWI and DUI in Oklahoma

What is the difference if you are charged with a DWI rather than a DUI in Oklahoma?

Asked on June 21, 2009 under Criminal Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Oklahoma DUI charges may be filed on either of two theories.  First, Oklahoma DUI will be filed if someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.  The consideration of whether or not someone is "under the influence" for purposes of Oklahoma DUI laws relates to whether or not the person's driving abilities have been legally impaired by the consumption of alcohol or drugs.  Oklahoma DUI charges can also be brought against someone based purely on body chemistry, no matter how well they are driving.  Oklahoma, like many other states, has a "per se" law, which means that it is a violation of Oklahoma DUI law to drive with a blood or breath alcohol level of .08% BAC or more.

In other words, under the first theory of Oklahoma DUI prosecution, the focus is on the condition of the driver, and whether or not they areable to drive with the caution characterisitc of a sober person.  Under the second theory of Oklahoma DUI prosecution, the focus is not on the driver, but only on the driver’s body chemistry.

Oklahoma DWI refers to the charge of Driving While Impaired by alcohol, not Driving While Intoxicated.  Oklahoma DWI is charged against the driver who has an alcohol level below .08% BAC.  Oklahoma DWI charges carry lesser punishment than Oklahoma DUI charges.


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