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Sentencing for drunk driving

The severity of penalties for a DUI conviction in Oklahoma will usually depend on the nature of the drunk driving incident and whether or not the driver had any prior DUI convictions on their record. A driver could face fines, a possible prison sentence, probation and a revocation of their driver's license. In some cases, drivers may also be required to complete an alcohol treatment program and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

A court order to install an ignition interlock device is becoming a common part of many drunk driving sentences. After the device is installed in a vehicle, drivers are unable to start their cars without first providing a breath sample. If the device detects a certain amount of alcohol on the driver's breath, the car will not start. In more severe cases, a driver convicted for DUI could have their license revoked and be forced to sell their vehicle.

Drivers who have prior DUI convictions on their records may face longer prison sentences and higher fines. Some repeat DUI offenders are charged for automatic felonies if they are accused of driving drunk multiple times. Sentencing can also be enhanced if a driver's BAC is especially high, the driver refuses to submit to a breath test or the driver has a child in their vehicle when they are pulled over.

Although alcohol treatment programs and ignition interlock devices could cause inconvenience, many convicted drunk drivers prefer these penalties to prison time. A driver who would like to avoid spending time behind bars for a second or third drunk driving charge might want to seek help negotiating a plea bargain from a criminal defense attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Drunk Driving Sentencing", accessed on Jan. 28, 2015

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