Oklahoma’s DUI Laws and Conviction Penalties

The consequences of a first, second, and third DUI in Oklahoma.

Like all states, Oklahoma prohibits driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. But Oklahoma differs from other states in how it defines driving under the influence and penalizes DUI convictions.

This article outlines what conduct can lead to a DUI conviction as well as many of the possible penalties for a DUI conviction in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's DUI Laws

A person can be convicted of driving under the influence when he or she was driving, operating, or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle:

  • while "under the influence" of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance
  • with any amount of a listed controlled substance in their system, or
  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08%.

In other words, a DUI conviction can be based on actual impairment or a failed BAC or drug test.

How Oklahoma Defines Driving, Operation, and Actual Physical Control

Oklahoma's DUI law specifically makes it illegal to "drive, operate, or be in actual physical control" of a motor vehicle while under the influence. However, Oklahoma courts have said that "drive" and "operate" are synonymous and basically refer to a motorist who gets behind the wheel and put a vehicle in motion.

But "actual physical control" goes further and is defined as having present bodily restraint, direct influence, or dominion over a vehicle. Under this more expansive definition, a person can be convicted of a DUI without actually putting the vehicle in motion.

Proof of Intoxication for a DUI Offense in Oklahoma

To get a DUI conviction, the prosecutor must, of course, also prove that the motorist was under the influence. Prosecutors can accomplish this with evidence of actual impairment or chemical test results showing an unlawful alcohol or drug concentration. DUIs based on drug or alcohol concentration are often called "per se DUI" charges.

Impairment DUI Offenses in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, a driver is considered to be "under the influence" when his or her nervous system, brain, or muscles are affected to such a degree as to appreciably impair his or her ability to drive.

Per Se DUI Offenses

A per se DUI can be based on chemical test results showing a BAC of .08% or more or that the driver had any amount of a listed controlled substance in his or her body. The list of controlled substances is defined by statute but includes illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Metabolized THC (marijuana) is not on the list.

Penalties for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI Conviction in Oklahoma

The minimum and maximum penalties for a DUI conviction are set by state law. These limits generally depend on the number of prior DUI convictions the driver has.

Prior Convictions Can Determine Whether a DUI is a Misdemeanor or Felony in Oklahoma

A DUI will be considered a first offense and a misdemeanor if the driver has no prior DUI convictions within the last ten years.

When a driver has a prior conviction that occurred in the last ten years, a second offense is considered a felony.

Once a person is convicted of a felony DUI, all future DUI charges, regardless of the time-lapse, will be considered felonies.

Jail and Fines for Oklahoma DUI Convictions

Generally, any DUI conviction in Oklahoma will result in fines and at least some jail time. The chart below outlines the range of jail time and fines for first, second, and third DUI convictions in Oklahoma.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


10 days to 1 year

1 to 5 years

1 to 10 years


Up to $1,000

Up to $2,500

Up to $5,000

A third or subsequent offense DUI will also carry 240 to 480 hours of community service and a mandatory ignition interlock restriction.

Oklahoma's Substance Abuse Evaluation Requirement for DUI Offenders

Prior to sentencing, the court will require the offender to obtain a substance abuse evaluation to assess the presence or extent of any chemical dependencies. The judge then reviews the evaluator's report and will generally incorporate the recommendations in the offender's sentence.

Oklahoma DUI Probation

Rather than imposing the full maximum jail term, judges will often place DUI offenders on probation for one to seven years. Probation can involve requirements such as random drug and alcohol testing, monitored sobriety, and the like. The judge can also order the driver to use an ignition interlock device for up to two years.

As part of probation, the court often will adopt the recommendations from the substance abuse evaluation. Unless the court orders inpatient treatment, the offender must serve five to ten days in jail prior to being released on probation.

Oklahoma's DUI Aggravating Factors

In Oklahoma, certain aggravating circumstances can lead to increased penalties for DUI convictions.

Oklahoma DUIs Involving High BACs

A driver with a BAC of at least .15% will be subject to an ignition interlock restriction for 90 days and one year of random alcohol and drug testing.

Oklahoma DUIs Involving Minor Passengers

An impaired driver who is transporting a minor passenger will have any standard DUI fine doubled. The driver might also face separate child endangerment charges.

License-Related Penalties for Oklahoma DUI Offenses

Getting caught driving under the influence in Oklahoma will typically result in driver's license penalties. These penalties vary depending on the number of prior DUI-related incidents as well as the driver's cooperation with testing.

License-related penalties can result from a DUI arrest and/or conviction.

Oklahoma's Implied Consent Law

Oklahoma's "implied consent" law requires all drivers who are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence to submit to breath or blood test. These tests are used to determine the presence, type, and concentration of any consumed drugs or alcohol. Drivers who refuse to comply with an officer's request for testing will typically face penalties for the refusal.

License Revocation for DUIs in Oklahoma

A driver arrested for a DUI offense can face license revocation for: failing a test, unlawfully refusing a test, and/or a DUI conviction. However, the revocation periods are all identical and do not stack if the driver ends up with more than one revocation (for instance, one for a failed test and another for a DUI conviction).

The revocation duration largely depends on the number of DUI incidents within the last ten years. DUI incidents will include test refusals, test failures, and DUI convictions. Based on the driver's history, a DUI incident will result in the revocation of the driver's license for at least:

  • 180 days for a first offense
  • two years for a second offense, and
  • three years for a third or subsequent offense.

As explained below, the motorist might still be able to retain driving privileges during the revocation period.

Impaired Driver Accountability Program

Revoked drivers are also required to enroll in the Impaired Driver Accountability Program. Program participants are able to have restricted driving privileges during the revocation period but only while using an ignition interlock device. Drivers must complete all treatment requirements and be free of any restriction violations prior to license reinstatement.

Oklahoma's Underage Drinking and Driving Laws

In Oklahoma, drivers who are under 21 years of age are prohibited from driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. A violation is a misdemeanor and carries fines, community service, treatment requirements, and license revocation.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


$100 to $1,000

$100 to $1,000

$100 to $2,000

Community Service

20 hours

240 hours

480 hours

License Revocation

1 year

2 years

3 years

All offenders are also required to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation and any treatment program ordered by the court. The court has the discretion to revoke the driver's license until he or she turns 21 years old. A revoked driver must also complete the Impaired Driver Accountability Program outlined above.

Talk with an Oklahoma DUI Lawyer

A DUI in Oklahoma carries serious penalties, so getting legal assistance is important. An experienced DUI lawyer can explain what you're facing and the options that might be available to you.

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