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Tests used to establish BAC levels in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is an implied consent state, and motorists are required by law to consent to sobriety tests when instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer. However, there are limits to when an officer may require drivers to submit to chemical sobriety tests, such as a breath test.

For example, police must be able to demonstrate that they had reasonable cause both to pull over a driver and to ask that driver to submit to the sobriety test. Police are also required to explain to motorists the consequences of not agreeing to the test.

Drivers are considered intoxicated in Oklahoma when they have a blood alcohol content level of .08 percent or higher. This limit is lower for motorists under the age of 21. However, the tests used to determine blood alcohol content level may not be reliable in certain situations. A breath test may provide an inaccurate reading for drivers suffering from a medical condition such as diabetic ketoacidosis, and blood test results may be skewed if the sample used were not handled according to strict protocols.

Being found to have a blood alcohol content level exceeding the legal limit may result in a loss of driving privileges. The same holds true for drivers who refuse to take a chemical sobriety test ordered by a law enforcement officer. Yet, drivers who have their driver's license suspended do have legal recourse. They may request a Department of Public Safety hearing, but this must be done within 15 days of the incident.

Prosecutors must prove a drunk-driving case beyond reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction, and even seemingly compelling evidence such as results from a blood test may have its validity challenged by a criminal defense attorney. If you have questions about Oklahoma's implied consent law, please visit this page, which deals with breath and blood tests.

Source: Nichols Law Firm, "Breath and Blood Testing In Oklahoma ", October 09, 2014

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