Getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated – even just a little bit – can result in serious repercussions, including a DUI or DWI. While most of us are familiar with the term DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while impaired or intoxicated) is a little less common. DWIs are typically lesser charges than DUIs, however, they still come with costly fines, suspensions, and even jail time. Similar to DUIs, DWIs are determined by an officer administering a test to confirm a driver’s BAC (blood alcohol level). In Oklahoma, if your BAC is .08 or above and you are operating a vehicle, you will be faced with a DUI charge. If you have alcohol in your system but your BAC does not exceed .08, the state considers it a DWI.
There are many reasons why an officer may choose to pull a driver over for suspicion of driving under the influence, including speeding, swerving, driving well below the speed limit, a busted taillight or headlight, or failure to use proper signaling when turning or merging. If he or she suspects you have been drinking after pulling you over, protocol is to issue a BAC test and/or a roadside sobriety test.
UNDERSTANDING DWI PENALTIES
DWI penalties vary from state to state and depend on a host of factors, including the driver’s previous track record. If you have been convicted of a DUI or DWI in the state of Oklahoma, the penalties you will face for a second or third charge will be much greater. As mentioned above, the main difference between a DUI and DWI is an individual’s BAC. If a driver’s test results show a BAC of .06 or .07, they will likely be charged with a DWI. This charge typically carries the following penalties:
- License suspension (if convicted)
- Possible jail time of up to 6 months in the county jail
- Fines up to $500
Most those faced with a DWI charge who retain the services of an Oklahoma City DWI attorney do not take a conviction, which means jail time is relatively uncommon. In the event, you are convicted of DWI and it is your first offense, you will likely be faced with a 30 day license suspension. It is important to note how beneficial an Oklahoma DWI attorney can be when it comes to fighting these types of charges. While many people opt to take their chances, and fight a DWI charge without any legal representation, this is typically a mistake. A knowledgeable DUI or DWI attorney will not only understand the court system and how these cases typically go, but they have a far greater chance of getting the charge reduced or dropped.
Even DWIs can have a lasting impact on your record and personal and professional life. If you find yourself faced with a DWI charge in Oklahoma, we encourage you to contact Worden Law Firm today. We offer free DWI consultations and will go over your case with you to help you better understand your rights and how to proceed.