Oklahoma Drunk Driving Charges: DWI vs. DUI Arrest

Being charged with DUI in Oklahoma is a serious criminal matter for anyone to face, and as the law has continued to develop there have been more potential charges that could be levied against a driver. These laws have generally been added by the legislature in response to the ongoing public outcry for tougher punishments for those who drink and drive, and politicians interested in being reelected need to respond to these types of outcries. Therefore, Oklahoma drivers who have been drinking could be charged with either DUI or DWI. Below is an explanation of the difference between these charges, but anyone who faces either of them should seek the help of Oklahoma City DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible.


An Oklahoma DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is generally seen as a lesser charge than a DUI. A driver can be charged with DWI if his or her blood alcohol content is lower than the legal limit of .08 but higher than .05. However, there is no set BAC standard, and there is no scientific or objective measurement involved with what leads to a charge of DWI in Oklahoma. Basically, if a driver is below the legal alcohol limit but is still impaired beyond the ability to drive a vehicle, that person could be arrested for DWI in Oklahoma, which is classified as a misdemeanor.


In contrast to DWI in Oklahoma, a DUI can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on several factors including the driver’s criminal record and whether or not anyone was harmed as a result of the alleged DUI. In addition, a DUI can only be charged if the driver had a BAC of above the legal limit in Oklahoma of .08. Generally, a DUI charge is the result of a more objective investigation, although a roadside sobriety test can also be used to give rise to an arrest. DUI penalties are also generally more severe than the penalties associated with Oklahoma DWI, but once again several factors determine the potential penalties.

Regardless of whether someone is charged with a DWI or a DUI in Oklahoma, that person faces a significant legal problem. If this includes you, contact the Oklahoma drunk driving defense attorneys at Atkins & Markoff immediately to schedule an initial consultation.