June 15, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Beginning this November, Oklahoma could see sweeping changes to its DUI law that many attorneys are calling unconstitutional.
Governor Mary Fallin last week signed into law Senate Bill 643, which significantly alters the rights afforded to suspected drunk drivers in our state.
The new law’s most controversial points include:
- Refusing to take a breathalyzer test will now be considered a misdemeanor criminal offense, punishable by up to 10 days in jail and a $1,000 fine
- DUI suspects’ drivers licenses will be confiscated and destroyed by the Department of Public Safety, even if the case has not yet gone to trial and the license has not actually been revoked
- Results of chemical BAC tests (breathalyzer or blood) will automatically be entered as evidence at trial without any opportunity to challenge their validity or accuracy
Additionally, the new law establishes an Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) to be operated by the Department of Public Safety. This program will require a participation fee as well as the expense of installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device for the duration of the program.
Alleged DUI offenders will have only 15 days to choose between participating in the IDAP and fighting the charge in court. Those who choose to exercise their right to a trial will be punished with a modified license and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for a full year or longer—even if they are ultimately found not guilty.
The Hunsucker Legal Group, in conjunction with other criminal defense attorneys and firms across the state, is working to challenge the new law’s constitutionality in front of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
“This law tramples on Oklahomans’ constitutional rights to due process as well as to confront the witnesses against them,” John Hunsucker, principal and founding attorney of the Hunsucker Legal Group said. “We intend to fight this tooth and nail.”
Stay up to date on the progress of the constitutional challenge by following Hunsucker Legal Group on Facebook.
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