Sometimes, a choice really isn’t a choice, especially when it comes to drinking and driving in Oklahoma. Even if you make a wrong choice to drive under the influence of alcohol, once you’re pulled over by law enforcement, your free will ends there. One way or another, if you’re intoxicated, you’re going to lose your license and then you have to choose your next adventure: a long road with a suspended license or a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement.
That choice is the result of Oklahoma’s “implied consent” laws that you agreed to follow when you applied for your license. Basically, once you apply for a driver’s license, you also give your consent for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be tested if a police officer believes you are intoxicated. If you refuse the test, your license is immediately suspended and you will only be able to drive with an ignition interlock device. If you submit a BAC sample and you are over the limit, your license is immediately suspended and you will have the same ignition interlock requirement. It isn’t much of a choice, but it is the law.
The lesson in “implied consent” is that when it comes to drinking and driving, there really isn’t a choice. You can choose to find a designated driver, to call a taxi or to simply not drink if you will be driving. That’s the smart choice, of course, and one that keeps everyone safe on the road. Or, you can choose to get behind the wheel while you are intoxicated – a choice that leads directly to an ignition interlock requirement and other consequences. The choice is yours; just remember that when you put lives in danger on Oklahoma’s roads, you take away everyone else’s choice for their own safe way home.