Oklahoma’s Laws & Penalties For Drunk Driving 2023: How Much Alcohol Can You Drink and Drive?

Drink and drive laws in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% (80 ml of alcohol/100 ml of blood) is unlawful. Driving with a 0.08% BAC or higher can get you arrested.

Commercial drivers are legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is 0.04% or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 are deemed lawfully intoxicated if their blood or breath contains any detectable amount of alcohol.

Typically, one to two standard alcoholic drinks are enough to meet or exceed the BAC limit of 0.08%. However, because BAC varies according to various factors, including weight and gender, this figure should only be used as a rough guideline.

Please be aware that the objective of this piece is to raise awareness of Oklahoma’s laws against drunk driving. This website does not support drinking and driving under any circumstances.

NHTSA figures show that there were 652 road fatalities in Oklahoma in 2020. In 27% of these traffic fatalities, the drivers had a blood alcohol content of 0.08% and above.

In other states, the terms driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are used interchangeably. However, in Oklahoma, DWI is an offense for driving with a 0.05% BAC level or higher but not more than 0.08%.

On the other hand, DUI is an offense of operating a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08% and higher.

DUI and DWI  should be avoided as much as possible. If you cannot avoid driving after drinking, you can use a designated driver service, an Uber, or a taxi.

To stop impaired driving-related incidents, Oklahoma has DUI statutes in place. You may make sure that your BAC is under Oklahoma’s permitted ranges by using an alcohol breathalyzer. It is best to determine your BAC level first before driving.

We advise checking Oklahoma’s official website for the most recent details on the state’s DUI driving rules and regulations.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Oklahoma

Alcohol can inhibit your judgment by slowing your reflexes, obstructing your vision, changing your awareness of distance and speed, and delaying your reaction time.

These things can happen even if you don’t appear or feel drunk. Indications of alcohol intoxication can occur as soon as you take your first drink.

Within 30 minutes to 2 hours, alcohol enters your system. Your breathing may slow, and you may have difficulty thinking clearly.

Even if the state’s legal BAC limit is 0.08%, remember that everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol.

Your blood alcohol level may be affected by the following factors:

  • weight,
  • gender,
  • anxiety and exhaustion levels,
  • hunger,
  • level of alcohol consumption, and
  • taking prescribed medication.

Some people may pass out after consuming a few bottles or glasses of alcohol. Even if they appear normal initially, their driving capability might already be affected. Hence, assessing your BAC before driving is vital.

A BAC calculator and chart can assist you in determining how much alcohol you can consume before driving. These tools may not be appropriate for everyone because everyone reacts differently to alcohol.

A certified alcohol breathalyzer is the most efficient way to determine your BAC.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Oklahoma

The person’s blood alcohol content determines the degree of alcohol impairment. Blood alcohol concentrations ranging from 0.010% to 0.029% may not result in obvious impairment. People with this level of BAC appear to be normal. However, as BAC levels rise, so do the signs of alcohol-related impairment.

DUI laws differ from state to state. To avoid consequences, check your blood alcohol level before driving.

A DUI conviction can have legal and financial consequences. The Oklahoma DUI and DWI penalties are listed below.

DUI Penalties

Oklahoma DUI penalties vary depending on the facts of the case. However, the offender’s prior convictions greatly influence the range of penalties.

A second offense is defined as a repeat offense within ten years. A second DUI and any subsequent offenses within the person’s lifetime will be considered a felony.

The following penalties apply to DUI offenders in Oklahoma.

Offense Jail Time Fines License Suspension
First Offense At least ten (10) days to one (1) year in jail Up to $1,000 At least 180 days
Second Offense Minimum of one (1) up to five (5) years imprisonment Maximum of $2,500 At least one (1) year
Third Offense At least one (1) up to 10 years of jail time Up to $5,000 Minimum of three (3) years

Substance Abuse Treatment 

If a convicted driver agrees to follow the recommendations of a substance abuse treatment assessment, the judge may order that a jail sentence be overturned.

Inpatient or outpatient treatment, as well as educational classes, may be recommended. If the recommendations do not call for inpatient treatment, the court will usually sentence the person to a few days in jail.

Failure to comply with prescribed treatments can result in extended prison time and license suspension.

Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP)

The driver must enroll in the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IDAP) during the license revocation period.

This program necessitates the placement of an ignition interlock device (IID), but it also allows the driver to limited operation during the suspension period.

The license holder must be enrolled in the IDAP for the duration of the revocation period and have been free of violations for 90 days before reinstatement of the license.

DWI Penalties

DWI is a less severe offense than DUI. A guilty DWI conviction could result in a $500 fine and/or a six-month jail sentence.

You may also face a suspension of your driving privileges in the following period:

  • First Offense: 30 days
  • Second Offense: Six months 
  • Third and Subsequent Offense: One year

Penalties for Test Refusal in Oklahoma

All drivers constitutionally arrested for DUI in Oklahoma must submit to a blood or breath test under the state’s implied consent laws—drivers who refuse testing face the same suspension and substance treatment requirements as those convicted of DUI.

If drunk drivers fail or refuse a test, their license is immediately revoked. The driver can request a hearing to contest the ruling, but their license will be suspended for at least six months if they fail.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Oklahoma?

Blood alcohol content varies according to several factors. According to research, men and women have different BAC thresholds.

Men have significantly higher levels of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) than women. The ADH enzymes control the metabolism of alcohol. Thus, men process alcohol more quickly than women.

You can learn how much alcohol you can drink before driving in Oklahoma by reading the information below.

Although studies support the data presented below, you should know that it may not be beneficial or appropriate for everyone since people have different responses to alcohol.

How Many Bottles of Beers Can You Drink and Drive in Oklahoma?

Drink beer and drive in Oklahoma

BAC charts show that a lighter person may have a higher BAC.

A 160-pound male can have a BAC of 0.02% after drinking a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer (72 kilograms).

A woman of identical weight and alcohol consumption could have a BAC of 0.03%.

If you need to drive later, limit your beer consumption to one to two bottles.

How Many Glasses of Wine Can You Consume and Drive in Oklahoma?

The ABV of a standard 5 oz (142 ml) glass of wine is 12%.

As demonstrated in the preceding example, a 180-pound man can have a BAC of 0.02% after drinking one glass of wine. A female of the same weight and level of alcohol consumption, on the other hand, could have a BAC as high as 0.03%.

One to two glasses of wine should be enough if you plan on driving after drinking.

How Much Whiskey or Vodka Can You Drink and Drive in Oklahoma?

Distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey have an ABV of 40%.

If you have to drive, stick to one to two shots of whiskey or vodka.

Sticking to DUI Laws in Oklahoma

There are various misconceptions about the effects of alcohol on driving. Anyone who drives should be aware of the risks of drunk driving and take all precautions to avoid it.

Driving while intoxicated or high is dangerous. You may lose control of yourself and your vehicle if you are drunk.

You should not drive if you are intoxicated. Even if you’ve only had a few alcoholic drinks, don’t be too confident in your blood alcohol level and driving abilities. It is best to consider alternative modes of transportation instead of driving.

If you intend to drive after drinking, ensure your blood alcohol level is less than the legal limit in Oklahoma. Your blood alcohol content can be precisely measured using a reliable alcohol breathalyzer.

We recommend visiting the state’s official website to learn more about Oklahoma DUI laws.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.