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When does a DUI become a felony in Oklahoma?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | DUI |

In Oklahoma, driving under the influence can carry serious consequences. Certain circumstances can also escalate a misdemeanor DUI to a felony.

Understanding the conditions under which a DUI becomes a felony is helpful for anyone navigating the legal system.

Factors leading to felony DUI

Most Oklahoma DUI charges are misdemeanors. However, a DUI may become a felony if the DUI results in injury or death to another person. Those with previous DUI convictions may also face felony charges.  This is particularly likely if the offenses occurred within a specified timeframe. Repeat DUI offenses or instances involving particularly high blood alcohol concentrations may also escalate the charge to a felony.

Consequences of felony DUI

Felony DUI convictions carry severe penalties. Some of these include substantial fines, lengthy license suspensions and potential incarceration. Those convicted of felony DUI may also face long-term consequences, such as difficulty securing employment, obtaining housing or restoring driving privileges. The social stigma associated with felony convictions can also impact relationships and community standing. As a result, it can further complicate the lives of those affected.

Prevention and awareness

To prevent DUI offenses from escalating to felonies, drivers must prioritize responsible alcohol consumption and avoid driving under the influence. Utilizing designated drivers, rideshare services or public transportation can mitigate the risks of impaired driving. Additionally, raising awareness about the consequences of DUI can encourage people to make safer choices behind the wheel.

Motorists must remain vigilant and accountable for their actions to protect themselves and others from the consequences of DUI offenses.