Oklahoma DUI Laws Staff Profile Picture
Written By:

Drunk driving remains one of the most common public health problems in the country, as it claims thousands of lives every year. The CDC has revealed that at least 32 people die every day in traffic accidents involving an intoxicated driver, which translates to one fatality every 45 minutes. Meanwhile, statistics from the NHTSA showed that out of the 762 deaths recorded in Oklahoma in 2021, 25% had a BAC of .08% and 18% had a BAC of .15% or higher.

The issue of drunk driving does not only affect adults; a large number of people under the age of 21 are also implicated in drinking and driving violations. A survey by SAMHSA showed that 38% of their respondents aged 18–20 admitted to having consumed alcohol in the past month, while 24.1% admitted to binge alcohol use.

These horrifying figures have prompted state legislators to pass laws that will protect people from injuries and fatalities on the roads due to intoxicated drivers. In this article, some of Oklahoma's drunk driving statutes will be discussed. It will also provide other materials that may be useful to impaired driving victims, DUI lawsuit plaintiffs, and motor vehicle drivers. 

Drunk Driving Laws in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's DUI laws penalize people who drive or operate a motor vehicle on any of the state's highways, public roads, streets, private roads, or turnpikes while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances, which makes them incapable of safely driving. The state's legal BAC limit is .08%, and going above the limit warrants a DUI charge. 

Aggravated DUI

Motor vehicle operators will be deemed in violation of the aggravated DUI law if they are found to have a BAC of .15% or higher. 

Child Endangerment

If parents, legal guardians, or individuals with custody of a child transport a child or children while drunk, or if they willfully allow a child to be present in a vehicle when they are clearly aware or should have known that the driver is intoxicated, they are committing a child endangerment offense, which warrants punishment from the law.

Oklahoma's Underage DUI Laws

Oklahoma prohibits any individual under the age of 21 from operating, driving, or having physical control of a motor vehicle within the state. Authorities are strictly implementing a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This means an underage driver found to have consumed any amount of alcohol can be prosecuted for violating the state's Drunk Driving Prevention Act. They can also be charged with a separate offense if they are found to have faked their age in order to obtain alcohol.

Oklahoma's Social Host Law

In Oklahoma, any person providing a private location for underage drinkers can be prosecuted under the social host legislation. According to state laws, a social host can be an adult or minor and does not have to be the actual property owner or physically present at the location. Offenders may be fined up to $500. In cases where the violation results in an injury or fatality, the host can receive a felony charge, which carries a penalty of up to $2,500 in fines and up to five years in jail.

Biking Under the Influence in Oklahoma

Many people wonder if it is prohibited to ride a bicycle while under the influence of an intoxicant. While other states have laws restricting cyclists from riding while intoxicated, Oklahoma does not. The Sooner State doesn't recognize bicycles as motor vehicles, so they are exempt from the existing drunk driving regulations. 

Despite this increased freedom, people operating bicycles are cautioned to avoid drinking and riding, as it is still a factor in traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths. According to the CDC, alcohol is involved in about one-third of bike fatalities throughout the country.

Oklahoma's Implied Consent Laws

Oklahoma, like all of the country's jurisdictions, has enacted an implied consent law. This rule means that all motor vehicle owners and operators have given consent for their blood, breath, or urine to be tested to identify their BAC when stopped and questioned for an impaired driving allegation or if they were lawfully arrested for causing a traffic accident. 

Police officers who pull a driver over must ensure they read the Implied Consent Test Request Advisory to inform the subject of their rights. The advisory also states that they are not entitled to speak with a lawyer prior to making the decision whether they will take the test or not. Refusal to take the chemical test will mean that the driver in question will have their driving privileges denied or revoked. 

In cases where the subject becomes unconscious following an accident, the law enforcement officer can automatically authorize a medical practitioner to extract a blood sample to determine the subject's BAC. When the subject regains consciousness, the officer must immediately inform him that he was arrested for drunk driving, that he is not free to go as his liberty has been restricted, or that DUI charges are pending.

DUI-Adjacent Laws in Oklahoma

Open Container Law

Oklahoma prohibits all motor vehicle drivers and passengers from transporting or possessing any intoxicating beverage that has been unsealed or taken off its original cap or seal. This includes drinks that contain more than 3.2% of alcohol by weight and all mixed beverage coolers regardless of their alcohol content percentage, as well as low-point beer or beverages that contain more than .5% of alcohol by volume and not over 3.2% by weight. 

The state's open container legislation, however, allows an open intoxicating beverage or low-point beer to be transported if it is kept in a trunk, rear compartment, or any other outside compartment that is inaccessible to the car occupants while in transit. 

While the state's Cocktails to Go Act allows commercial establishments with mixed beverage or catering permits to sell mixed beverages, cocktails, or single-serve wine in sealed containers for off-premise use, vehicle occupants can still be penalized under the law if they are found to have broken the drink's seal before they can reach their destination. 

Boating Under the Influence in Oklahoma

Most people are aware that drunk driving regulations are applicable to automobiles. However, in Oklahoma, boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also against the law. According to the state's BUI laws, any boat operator can be convicted if they are found to be operating a vessel on any of the Sooner State's waters — except on privately owned waterways — while intoxicated by liquor or drugs to a degree that makes them incapable of safely operating the boat. A boater can also be prosecuted for BUI if they return a BAC of .08% or higher. 

Recreational boating statistics revealed that Oklahoma recorded 51 drunk boating accidents between 2018 and 2022. These incidents claimed 19 lives. As of 2022, Oklahoma represented 1.7% of the country's total registered recreational vessels. While consuming alcohol while boating is not illegal, operators of any watercraft should adhere to the enacted BUI legislation to avoid injuries and fatalities. Victims of drunk boating accidents, on the other hand, should seek counsel from an attorney to understand their legal options.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Oklahoma?

Driving while impaired in Oklahoma warrants a variety of consequences, including fines, jail sentences, and license suspension or revocation. Depending on the severity or number of offenses committed, the penalties may increase. The state also set certain penalties for violations of the implied consent legislation. The table below outlines the penalties that drunk drivers may face.

General DUI

DUI Offense 

Type of Conviction


Length of Imprisonment

License Status

Other Penalties

First Offense


Up to $1,000

10 days to 1 year

180-day suspension

If the offense involves aggravating factors, the offender will be subject to a 90-day ignition interlock device (IID) requirement.

Second Offense


Up to $2,500

1 to 5 years

2-year suspension

Third or Subsequent Offenses


Up to $5,000

1 to 10 years

3-year suspension

IID requirement of up to 2 years

240 hours of community service

Underage DUI

First Offense


$100 to $1,000

1-year revocation

20 hours of community service

Completion of the Impaired Driver Accountability Program

Mandatory alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment program

Second Offense


$100 to $1,000

2-year revocation

240 hours of community service

Completion of the Impaired Driver Accountability Program

Mandatory alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment program

Third Offense


$100 to $2,000

3-year revocation

480 hours of community service

Completion of the Impaired Driver Accountability Program

Mandatory alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment program

Boating While Intoxicated

First Offense


Up to $1,000

Second and Subsequent Offenses


$1,000 to $2,500

DUI Alcohol Testing Refusal

180-day to 2-year revocation

Completion of the Impaired Driver Accountability Program

IID requirement

Oklahoma's Dram Shop Law

In Oklahoma, a dram shop is a commercial establishment that serves or sells alcoholic beverages, like bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and breweries. Lawmakers have enacted dram shop liability legislation to hold businesses liable for furnishing alcohol to patrons who are clearly intoxicated and buyers under the legal drinking age, especially if they cause a drunk driving accident resulting in the injury of a third party or property damage.

Under the law, the victims, not the impaired driver, may file a lawsuit against the establishment to obtain financial compensation for their damages. To prove a dram shop liability claim, a plaintiff must establish that the business negligently and deliberately served alcohol to an intoxicated individual. They must also prove that the said action was a direct cause of the injuries or damages they suffered.

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Drunk Driving Injury in Oklahoma?

When it comes to DUI accidents, the state adheres to a modified comparative fault framework. This system mandates that courts assess each party's degree of fault in the incident and assign them a proportion of responsibility. The plaintiff's share of liability will determine the amount of damages they can obtain. If they are judged to be less than 50% at fault, they may recover compensation with their percentage of fault deducted. However, if a judge or jury determines them to be 50% or more at fault, they won't be able to seek compensation from the other parties involved. This rule means that if a plaintiff in a drunk driving accident lawsuit is awarded $80,000 in damages but is found to be 40% liable for the collision, they will only receive 60% of the total award, or $48,000.

To determine the value of a settlement, the judge or jury considers certain factors, including the available evidence, the severity of the victim's injuries or damages, and the victim's percentage of liability in the DUI crash. Plaintiffs can recover economic and noneconomic damages, which cover hospital expenses, car repair costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the grossly negligent drunk driver and discourage future bad behavior.

Additionally, DUI accident plaintiffs in Oklahoma should know that there is no cap on the amount of economic damage that they can recover. The state also prevents noneconomic damages from being capped in wrongful death cases. The Supreme Court declared in 2019 that capping noneconomic damages in personal injury lawsuits is unconstitutional.

The Statute of Limitations in Oklahoma

DUI accidents have a significant impact on people's lives, which is why victims should act immediately to hold the at-fault party accountable so they can secure compensation for their losses. 

In Oklahoma, there's a two-year statute of limitations for automobile accidents. It means victims have two years from the date of the DUI crash to file a claim. Failing to adhere to the state's deadline may lead to the dismissal of the case. 

The law also sets exceptions for minors and legally incapacitated victims. Minors who have been harmed may file a DUI lawsuit within two years of their 18th birthday. Incapacitated victims, on the other hand, may file a personal injury claim two years from the moment they are considered mentally competent. 

In the event that the defendant leaves the state to escape prosecution, the statute of limitations will only start when the other party returns to the state. It is vital for a victim to seek help from a DUI lawyer to understand whether the exceptions are applicable to them.

Resources for Folks Injured by an Impaired Driver in Oklahoma

Drunk driving crashes have claimed thousands of lives and injured countless people. With the complexity of DUI cases, it is crucial for victims to have easy access to effective legal resources and survivor support services. This part of the article presents some resources for injured individuals and families whose loved ones died in drunk driving accidents due to the carelessness of intoxicated drivers. 

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Oklahoma

MADD Oklahoma provides survivors and families of those killed in drugged and drunk driving crashes with free victim services. Its volunteers help them by providing emotional support and guidance through the criminal and civil justice systems. Volunteers can also accompany victims and survivors to court. 

In addition, MADD assists victims with victim impact statements and referrals to appropriate resources for additional assistance. Survivors looking for supportive materials on victimization topics may request them from the organization. Moreover, DUI accident victims or their families can reach out to a victim advocate in their area through MADD's helpline at 1-877-MADD-HELP (1-877-623-3435).

Oklahoma Bar Association

The Oklahoma Bar Association provides various resources to locals looking for legal information and assistance. The official website contains information about courts, legal forms, complaint processes, and legal aid programs to assist plaintiffs in understanding their rights and obligations. Site visitors may use the platform to find a lawyer who can counsel them on their DUI case. They can also find details about low- or no-cost legal assistance in Oklahoma

Additionally, locals of Tulsa County who have been involved in DUI accidents may connect with the Tulsa County Bar Association Lawyer Referral & Information Service. The LRIS aims to refer those who require legal assistance to an experienced lawyer who practices in the area of law related to their situation. The program requires clients to pay a $25 referral fee, which includes a 30-minute initial consultation. For additional information, one may call 918-587-6014.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

The Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. (LASO) provides free legal services to low-income individuals and families throughout the state. This nonprofit organization has 18 locations across Oklahoma, and its lawyers are committed to helping residents navigate legal processes. DUI accident victims can read the Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about LASO's services. They can also reach out to the organization's staff at 1-888-534-5243 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays.

Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Collision Report Form

The state's public safety department has developed this computer-fillable collision report form to make it easy for individuals involved in DUI crashes to report any essential information about their accident to law enforcement. Motor vehicle operators can expedite the claims process with their insurance carrier when they use this form.

Oklahoma Court Records

Locals can visit this website for easy access to civil and criminal court records and documents. The platform has public records from courts and other public agencies situated across Oklahoma's 77 counties.

Share Staff Profile Picture StaffAuthor

Step into the world of, your go-to hub for credible insights. We don't take accuracy lightly around here. Our squad of expert reviewers, each a maestro in their field, has given the green light to every single article you'll find. From rigorous fact-checking to meticulous evaluations of service providers, we've got it all covered. So feel free to dive in and explore. The information you'll uncover has been stamped with the seal of approval by our top-notch experts.