Tulsa, OK- Drinking and driving is a serious issue in the U.S.; one that lawmakers and safety advocates are continuously trying to prevent by coming up with ways to stop people from getting behind the wheel when they’ve had too many drinks. An Oklahoma Senator has a solution that is making waves. Under his proposal it would be illegal for anyone convicted of DUI to drink or purchase alcohol.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Patrick Anderson (R) would give judges the latitude to order a person not to drink of purchase alcohol for a prescribed period of time if they are convicted of a DUI charge. The law requires a person to surrender their driver’s license which would be replaced with another license marked “alcohol restricted,” according to Fox 25.
Additionally, the law would make it a felony to knowingly sell or purchase alcohol for a DUI offender. A conviction for said violation could result in a $1,000 fine and one year jail term.
Under current Oklahoma law, a person charged with their first DUI faces 5 days up to a year in jail with a mandatory one-year suspension of their driver’s license. A person can also expect to pay fines of $1,000 or more if they are convicted.
Some DUI attorneys feel as though this Sen. Anderson’s law is too restrictive, and is unenforceable. The law would make it illegal for a person to pick up a bottle of wine of six pack of beer for a friend or family member. It also wouldn’t keep alcohol out of the hands of a DUI offender since they could enlist someone else to make the purchase for them. These and other scenarios are not addressed in Sen. Anderson’s bill.
Unlike many states, there is no requirement for first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. These devices prevent a person from starting their vehicle if they are above the legal limit. It would be a more logical step to require ignition interlock devices for first-offenders than to prohibit a person from drinking.
According to the Huffington Post, New Mexico tried to pass a similar law that would prohibit DUI offenders from drinking, but they didn’t move forward with that law. Considering the criticism piling up in regards to Anderson’s proposal, the bill is unlikely to get passed.
Most people who are charged with a DUI realize they are in trouble, but they may not realize how a DUI conviction will affect them in the long run. On top of the possibility of spending time in jail, losing their license and paying a costly fine, a DUI conviction could exclude a person from certain occupations or careers. A DUI conviction also stays on a person’s record for 10 years in Oklahoma.
If you have been charged with impaired driving, you need to have a DUI attorney on your side, working to build a solid defense that may allow you to avoid the worst of the DUI penalties you are facing.