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Repeat DUI Drivers Lose Loophole In Oklahoma

When courts find someone guilty of a DUI in Los Angles, the penalties that person faces will depend on whether or not he or she has prior DUI convictions. (It doesn’t matter if some of the DUI convictions occurred in another state; California treats those offenses as if they occurred in state.)House Bill 3146-los-angeles-DUI-Oklahoma

Most states also track DUIs that take place in different jurisdictions within their boundaries. But Oklahoma has provided an out for drivers convicted of DUI in most municipalities. Only two municipal courts in that state are courts of record, which report DUI convictions to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network. That leaves 350 municipal courts that don’t report to the state. Drivers can rack up an unlimited number of DUIs, and as long as they took place in different municipalities, each would count as a first offense.

That will be changing as of November 1, 2016. In late April, Governor Mary Falin signed House Bill 3146, which prohibits any municipality from prosecuting someone accused of DUI unless that person has a municipal court of record. The district courts will now handle such cases. (Municipalities with more than 60,000 residents will have the option of setting up courts of record.)

The bill also directs Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety to create a statewide database of impaired drivers.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Mike Sanders, pushed for the bill after a DUI driver hit a vehicle carrying him and his family. That driver had six DUI convictions in the previous 12 months, and police picked him up again for DUI two weeks after he hit the Sanders’ car.

Oklahoma has an abysmal record when it comes to DUI drivers; it is the 46th worst state for DUI deaths and the 51st (including states and territories) when it comes to 10-year improvements in that rate.

California residents with multiple DUIs can expect increasing penalties. Under Vehicle Code 23152, penalties for a second offense could include up to a year in jail (as opposed to a maximum of six months for a first conviction) and a longer license suspension — two years.

Please call the experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyers at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers for substantial and skilled assistance with your case and a free, private consultation.

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