Question: What is the purpose of the Oklahoma DPS administrative license hearing and what is the standard of proof in this hearing?
Answer: The officers are trying to determine what’s called the scope of the hearing, it’s actually laid out in Oklahoma statute of what their issues are that they have to look at. And that is whether or not the officer had probable cause to believe that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants, was the person arrested, if that person was denied having tests given to them.
Whether that was a breath test or a blood test, and if they took the test, did they test over the legal limit—for under 21 it’s .02 or higher, for over 21 it’s .08 or higher—and did they take a test and the test results actually reflect that they were over the legal limit, or that the person refused to take the test, and also was that person advised of the consequences of taking a test or not taking the test, that they would lose their driving privilege in the state of Oklahoma.
The standard of proof on this is actually very low. It’s a preponderance of the evidence, and the way I’ve always had judges explain it to me is, the court just has to be a little more slightly sure than not that the officers have proven each of those issues. Or a simpler way to think of it is, 51%. If they’ve proved all the issues by 51%, then the department will generally sustain that.
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