On November 1, 2016, Oklahoma’s Impaired Driving Elimination Act (IDEA) act became law, affecting those with current DUI charges and those who may be affected in the future. The Oklahoma IDEA act allows for the state to correctly identify repeat DUI offenders and hold them accountable for convictions across all of Oklahoma’s jurisdictions, which was previously unshared information.
Because the Oklahoma IDEA act streamlines the administrative side of a DUI and allows for an accurate count of convictions, fewer people will get away with one DUI in one jurisdiction while having another DUI in a different jurisdiction. That also means the state will be accurately categorizing DUI offenders and holding them properly responsible for each and every drunk driving offense. According to Oklahoma State Representative Mike Sanders, “the new law ensure[s] repeat drunk drivers are properly prosecuted and removed from the roads of Oklahoma. Each offender is added into a database so that all DUIs are recorded. This allows district attorneys to develop assessments and treatment plans for offenders.”
That means instead of a second-time DUI driver only getting the first-offense penalties which include ten days to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and 180 days of suspension, he or she will be charged, properly, with the second offense. Those penalties include one to five years in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, and one-year suspension. Plus, all second-offense DUI drivers will be required to install and maintain a car breathalyzer (ignition interlock device). By giving Oklahoma DUI offenders the proper punishment based on the correct number of offenses, the hope is to keep them from reoffending in the future.
With the sweeping changes across Oklahoma, there’s no reason to think you’re okay to drive, even after just one drink. Laws like the Oklahoma IDEA act are becoming more and more common throughout the US, helping each state to keep drivers everywhere safe. Protecting the lives of motorists is the ultimate goal of IDEA, declaring that nobody should be getting away with drunk driving, no matter which roads they travel.