Monday, May 4, 2009

Daily Oklahoman DUI Mistake

This last weekend, the Daily Oklahoman did a story about DUI and sports figures. Instead of going to a credible source, they got their information from the lobbying group MADD. The article in the paper stated that if you are arrested for DUI and your breath alcohol level is .15 or higher, you will be charged with Aggravated DUI. While Oklahoma has an Aggravated DUI Statute, not every county charges it.

The mistake in the paper was that the article stated that the penalty for Aggravated DUI was the same as a third time felony. The penalty for a third time felony is 1-10 years in the state penitentiary and/or up to a $7500.00 fine. This is incorrect.

Aggravated DUI is cover under Title 47 Section 11-902 of the Oklahoma Statutes and is as follows:

"D. Any person who is convicted of a violation of driving under the influence with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of fifteen-hundredths (0.15) or more pursuant to this section shall be deemed guilty of aggravated driving under the influence. A person convicted of aggravated driving under the influence shall participate in an assessment and evaluation by an assessment agency or assessment personnel certified by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services pursuant to Section 3-460 of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes and shall comply with all recommendations for treatment. Such person shall be sentenced to not less than one (1) year of supervision and periodic testing at the defendant’s expense, four hundred eighty (480) hours of community service, and an ignition interlock device for a minimum of thirty (30) days. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the defendant from being charged or punished as provided in paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 of subsection C of this section."

As you can see, the Aggravated DUI language just adds additional requirements but not change the standard punishment range which for District Court cases is 10 days to one year and/or a fine up to $1000. for misdeameanor cases, 1-5 years and/or a fine of up to $2500 for first felony DUI, 1-7 years and/or fine of up to $5000 for 2nd felony, and 1-10 years and/or fine of up to $7500 for 3rd or subsequent felony DUI/

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