It’s important to know the state laws where you live, and if you’re visiting a part of the United States where you don’t live, understanding the laws that govern the states you visit will help keep you out of legal trouble.
As people travel around the country, especially while on vacation, researching the law may not be a top priority, but if you’re going to buy alcohol in Oklahoma or drink alcohol in a bar, you should know the alcohol-related laws in the Sooner State. As you read, you will find out that the DUI penalties in Oklahoma are some of the most severe in the entire country.
Sale and Purchase of Alcohol in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, you may buy wine and beer in grocery stores and liquor stores Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., but there are no Sunday sales of beer, wine or liquor in the state of Oklahoma. Liquor stores are closed on Sunday, and grocery stores will not sell beer or wine on Sundays. Bars close at 2:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and Oklahoma bars are not open on Sundays.
Dram Shop Law in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, dram shop laws apply to the sale of beer, wine and hard liquor to the public (in restaurants and bars, for instance). Laws that regulate the distribution of alcohol state it’s illegal for bars and restaurants to sell alcohol to already intoxicated patrons. Dram shop law also states it’s illegal to sell those under the age of 21 alcohol. Failure to abide by these laws may result in a civil, not criminal, litigation. Failure to comply with dram shop laws may be cause for a lawsuit if the negligent behavior (sale of alcohol to a minor or intoxicated patron) leads to a drunk driving accident or injuries to innocent parties.
If you are injured (or a loved one was killed) by a drunk driver, the bartender or restaurant owner who served the alcohol past the point of intoxication may be legally responsible for any injuries and losses suffered. For this reason, it’s important to contact an Oklahoma personal injury attorney right away if you were a victim of a drunk driving accident.
DUI Law in Oklahoma
Because of some unique aspects of DUI law in Oklahoma, you should know the law when visiting the state. If you live in Oklahoma, you probably know how strict the DUI laws are there. If you are arrested and charged with DUI in Oklahoma, the state affords you merely 15 days from the day of your arrest to request a hearing with the Department of Public Safety. If you fail to request a hearing within 15 days, your license will be automatically suspended, and you could lose your driving privileges for six months to several years. Also, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for as long as eight years.
If you are found guilty of DUI in Oklahoma, you will face a minimum jail sentence of 10 days (even for first offenders), and you could serve up to one year in jail. Fines can be as high as $1,000 for your first DUI offense in Oklahoma. If you have prior DUI convictions on your record, your charge could be elevated to a felony DUI, which carries a minimum one-year jail sentence. Depending on the number of previous offenses, you could face up to 20 years in the state penitentiary if convicted. Yes, you read that correctly… 20 years in prison for drinking and driving in Oklahoma.
If you are arrested and charged with DUI in Oklahoma, you must contact an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The penalties for DUI are some of the most severe in the entire country, so you must act quickly to help minimize the penalties and maintain your freedom.