Thursday, May 7, 2009

Channel 9 DUI Loophole Story

On May 6, 2009, Channel 9 in Oklahoma City ran a piece called the DUI Loophole. Apparently, in some areas, possible DUI offenders are not getting charged because the hospitals are not calling the police when there is an accident involving alcohol. They claim that the hospitals are doing this because they are concerned they won't get paid by the insurance company if alcohol is involved.

The interesting part of the story is that Channel nine interviewed medical professionals and an Assistant District Attorney from TEXAS. Were they not able to get one of the several hundred Oklahoma District Attorneys or Assistant District Attorneys to comment? They commented they contacted Oklahoma legislators but only two responded. The two that did respond said it was not a problem in Oklahoma.

This is another example of the the media trying to sensationalize a problem tjhat doesn't exist here. Oklahoma has a statute that mandates that blood is withdrawn anytime there is an accident involving great bodily injury or death and the officer believes that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol. This is a forced blood draw wherein the accused does not have the ability to refuse.

In accidents that don't involve serious injuries and/or death, the police officer at the scene will still request a blood or breath sample under Oklahoma's Implied Consent Law.

Simply put, this is just an attempt to sensationalize a problem that just doesn't exist in Oklahoma.

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