Is an Oklahoma Driver Required to Submit to a Drunk Driving Test?
Oklahoma, like every other U.S. state, has an Implied Consent law governing drunk driving and drugged driving. The law requires a driver to submit to a test of one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if an officer has probable cause to administer such a test. Refusal results in automatic revocation of one’s driver’s license, as well as a possible fine.
“Implied Consent” means that when you climb behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are implicitly agreeing to submit to a chemical test if asked. Oklahoma’s Implied Consent law is found in Title 47, Section 751: “Implied Consent to Breath, Blood, or Other Test for Determining Concentration of Alcohol or Other Intoxicating Substance.”
Certain conditions must be present for an Oklahoma law enforcement officer to have the authority to request an alcohol or drug concentration test:
• The officer must have “reasonable grounds” to believe that the driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,
• The officer must place the driver under arrest for driving under the influence,
• The officer must inform the driver that refusal to submit to the test will result in automatic revocation of one’s license. The officer must also inform the driver that if the test proves that the driver’s blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit, that will also result in automatic revocation.
The officer may request a sample of the driver’s breath, blood, saliva or urine. The breath sample can be taken on the road using a Breathalyzer. The Intoxilyzer 5000 is the device used by all or almost all law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma.
Under certain circumstances, the officer may seek a blood, saliva or urine sample. For example, a breath test is not a reliable measure of drug concentraion, so one of the other samples may be sought when drug intoxication is suspected. Such samples must be obtained within two hours of when the driver was stopped.
If a driver refuses to take the test, the officer does not have the authority to force a driver to submit unless the driver is unconscious or the officer has probable cause to believe someone’s death or serious physical injury has been caused.
However, refusing to take an alcohol concentration test or drug test will result in an automatic six-month revocation of one’s driver’s license. A second revocation (for refusal to submit to a chemical test or for any other reason) is a one-year revocation and a third revocation is for three years. (See Section 6.205-1. Also, the fact that the driver refused to submit to the test can be entered as evidence in a DUI trial.
In Oklahoma, when an officer requests an alcohol or drug concentration test, the officer is supposed to read the following eight points from a card:
1. You have been arrested and you are requested to submit to a test or tests to determine the presence and/or concentration of intoxicants in your body.
2. The state’s test will be a [“breath” OR “blood”] test. If a blood test is performed, it will be done by approved medical personnel.
3. Once you complete the state’s test, you may have an additional test at your own expense, provided that a sufficient quantity of any specimen obtained shall be available to the state for testing.
4. You are not entitled to consult with an attorney prior to making your decision whether or not to submit to the state’s tests.
5. You may refuse the state’s test, but as a consequence your driver’s license will be revoked or denied by the Department of Public Safety.
6. If you are age 21 years or older and the test result is 0.08 or more alcohol concentration, your driver’s license will be revoked or denied by the Department of Public Safety. If you are under age 21 and the test result is 0.02 or more alcohol concentration, your driver’s license will be revoked or denied by the Department of Public Safety.
7. If your driver’s license is revoked or denied by the Department of Public Safety, you may be required to have an ignition interlock installed.
8. Will you take the state’s test?
For more information about drunk driving in Oklahoma, including explanations of many state laws and penalties related to drunk and drugged driving, see “DUI, Drunk Driving.” If you have suffered harms and losses as a result of someone else’s illegal driving, Contact Us for a free consultation.