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License suspensions overturned for 6 people

An appeals court in Oklahoma has determined that the documents used to suspend people's licenses in six cases did not comply with state law. This ruling brings into question the validity of documents that have been used in other cases where someone's license has been revoked. The issue goes back to 1990 when the state advised the Department of Public Safety that there was a flaw in the agency's license-revocation documentation.

In addition to the state, years ago, a former DPS attorney told the board that reviews blood-alcohol tests that there was a problem. According to an attorney that filed several of the appeals that were seen by the court, this is a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago.

Oklahoma state law mandates that blood-alcohol test reports include a law enforcement officer's sworn report that the officer had reasonable ground to believe the person who was arrested drove or could have driven under the influence of alcohol. According to the findings of the appeals court, the documentation required to suspend a total of six people's licenses was deficient, and the wording of the connected affidavits did not comply with state law. Lower courts were ordered to reinstate the licenses of three people, two from Tulsa County and one from Cleveland County, and the court upheld the ruling of an Oklahoma County judge that dismissed the license revocations of three other individuals.

There is no question that losing driving privileges presents a hardship, which is why people who face a suspended or revoked license need to fully understand their rights. A lawyer may be able to help an individual understand their legal options and defend them in court from claims that may lead to a license suspension.

Source: Tulsa World, "Oklahoma appeals court ruling in 6 DUI cases questions forms used", Ziva Branstetter, October 12, 2013

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