Oklahoma Criminal Defense Reduces DUI Penalties and Costs in Death and Manslaughter Cases

I am always struck by the constant drumbeat of the legislature for the tightening of laws regulating drinking and driving in Oklahoma.  It is easy to get the impression that the State Legislature has nothing to do but to increase the punishment for drinking alcohol and then driving in a car.  I don’t want to be labeled as an anarchist, however, there appears to be little correlation between the severity of the DUI laws and the dramatic reduction of alcohol related auto accidents resulting in death.

After practicing in the field of DUI Defense for over 30 years it has come to my attention the vast amount of damage occasioned by people who drink and drive.  I cannot say that drinking causes accidents, however, a lot of drinkers who drive get involved in accidents.  The present state of the law is a result of an illogical construct: i.e. that severe penalties for drinking and driving create a safer environment for non drinking drivers.  For example, in statistics between 1995 and 2008 see the abbreviated table below.  The statistics were obtained from the Center for Disease Control and figures published by the FBI Bureau of Statistics.

1995:

  • 21,219 arrested in Oklahoma for drunk driving / DUI (Driving under the Influence)
  • 192 fatal accidents in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
  • 213 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
  • 28 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%

 

  • 241 total deaths caused in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above

 

  • 1996:

 

  • 21,658 arrested in Oklahoma for drunk driving / DUI (Driving under the Influence)

 

  • 201 fatal accidents in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above

 

  • 229 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above 

 

  • 45 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%

 

  • 274 total deaths caused in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above

1997:

  • 20,390 arrested in Oklahoma for drunk driving / DUI (Driving under the Influence

223 fatal accidents in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above 

  • 265 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
  • 39 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%
  • 304 total deaths caused in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above

 1998:

  • 21,356 arrested in Oklahoma for drunk driving / DUI (Driving under the Influence)
  • 195 fatal accidents in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
  • 225 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
  • 28 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%
  • 253 total deaths caused in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above
  • 2008
    • Official statistics for people people arrested for drunk driving / DUI (Driving under the Influence) in Oklahoma not yet known
    • 212 fatal accidents in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
    • 244 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.08% or above
    • 29 people were killed in Oklahoma in accidents where at least one driver had a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%
    • 274 total deaths caused in Oklahoma where at least one driver had a BAC of 0.01% or above
    • I purposely skipped the statistics between 1998 and 2008 because they were significantly similar.  Though the DUI laws increased in severity, fines got higher, court costs rose dramatically and rehabilitation requirements by the State of Oklahoma became draconian.
  • Thus, it seems that harsher penalties for DUI, higher mandatory sentences, greater fines, more law enforcement, do not translate into significantly fewer traffic accidents, deaths or arrests for DUI in Oklahoma. Car wrecks are a risk of driving, here is a URL of auto wrecks in Europe that may or may not have a DUI component, you decide.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-oUGzV32Dc.
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This entry was posted in Business Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, Oil and Gas Law, OKC Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Probate, The Reasonable Dr. Ross M. Lence and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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