Is My Oklahoma Driver’s License Suspended?
When you are given an Oklahoma driver’s license, you may not realize the many ways the Department of Public Safety can suspend or even revoke it. When your license is suspended, your driving rights are temporarily taken away, but will be restored at a later date or upon completion of certain requirements. If your license is revoked, it is canceled and you will need to submit to an investigation before you can get it back.
Common Reasons for Driver’s License Suspensions
While the Department of Public Safety (DPS) handles everything related to driver’s licenses, such as overseeing suspensions and providing the initial license, suspensions are often initiated by a criminal case. These criminal charges can include:
Driving While Impaired (DWI)
- A DWI is when you are driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05-.08.
- If you are found guilty of a DWI, whether through plea or trial, your license will be suspended.
- The length of license suspension depends on your case, and is not part of the punishment for your DWI.
- First DWI: 30 day license suspension, in addition to your court case requirements.
- Second DWI: 6 month license suspension, in addition to your court case requirements.
- Third DWI: 1 year license suspension, in addition to your court case requirements.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- A DUI is when you are driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, OR have any amount of an illegal drug in your system.
- If you are found guilty of a DUI, whether through plea or trial, your license will be suspended.
- The length of license suspension depends on your case, and is not part of the punishment for your DUI.
- First DUI: 180 day license suspension, in addition to your court case requirements.
- Second DUI: 1 year suspension if you had only one prior DUI conviction within the past 5 years, in addition to your court case requirements.
- Third DUI: 3 year suspension if you had 2 or more prior DUI convictions within the past 5 years, in addition to your court case requirements.
Refusing to Take the State’s Test
When you are pulled over for drunk driving, the officer will offer to administer the State’s test, which is a breathalyzer or blood test that will show your BAC. The blood test will also show if there are any illegal drugs in your system. You do not have to take this test, and it is within your rights to refuse it.
While a refusal prevents the State from having evidence to use against you at trial, it also results in DPS immediately suspending your license for 180 days to 3 years, regardless of whether you were actually under the influence or not.
Excessive Moving Violations
When you receive a traffic ticket of any kind, whether it is for speeding or running a stop sign, DPS assigns a point value to the infraction.
Once you have received 10 points, DPS will notify you that your license has been suspended. The length of your suspension can range from 1 to 12 months.
Failure to Stop for an Accident
If you fail to stop for an accident that you are involved in, your license will be suspended.
Giving False Information
If you supply false information in order to obtain a driver’s license, your license will be suspended.
Contesting a Driver’s License Suspension
If you want to contest your driver’s license suspension, there is a formal process to do so. DPS will send a letter to the mailing address listed on your driver’s license notifying you of your suspension and how to contest it. Then, you complete a request for hearing or modified driver’s license form on DPS’s website and mail it or submit it in person. This process can be confusing; if you choose to contest your license suspension, we highly recommend hiring an attorney with experience handling DPS cases.
Reinstating Your License After a Point Suspension
If your license was suspended because you received 10 or more points for traffic violations, it is not enough to simply wait out the suspension time—you must also pay the statutory reinstatement fee of $50.
If your license was suspended for either 6 months or 12 months, you are categorized by DPS as a hazardous driver. Once your license is reinstated, you are put on a 6 month temporary license and ordered to return at the end of that time for a hearing. As long as you don’t have any additional traffic violations in that 6 months, your license will be fully reinstated.
Reinstating Your License After Refusing the State’s Test
If your license was suspended because you refused the State’s test after being pulled over, you cannot reinstate your license until the timeframe of your suspension has passed. At that point, you can present DPS with a Drug and Alcohol Assessment and your reinstatement fee. Sometimes you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car, but this varies from case to case.
Impact of License Suspensions On Driving Records
While this can vary some, driving-related convictions, license suspensions, and revocations can appear on your 3 year and 5 year driving record.
The Unexpected Backlash of Driver’s License Suspensions
When your license is suspended, your insurance will be notified. This means that either (1) your insurance rates will go up significantly; or (2) your insurance company may drop you altogether. If you were to continue driving after your license was reinstated, but without insurance, you could be given a citation and receive even more points on your license.
The Punishment for Driving Under Suspension
If you continue to drive after your license has been suspended, you could receive a citation. This carries a fine of up to $500 and up to 1 year in jail for your first offense. Most counties offer a plea deal of a $200 fine plus court costs on your first offense. However, the punishment continues to go up significantly with each violation.
Your second driving under suspension ticket is up to $750 and your third is up to $1,000. While it is unlikely that you would be given jail time for a driving under suspension ticket, it is permitted by statute and is technically a criminal misdemeanor.
The Bottom Line
It can be difficult to determine if your license has been suspended. Once it has been suspended, it is even more difficult to figure out how to get it reinstated and what is required of you to comply with the law. This leads to additional tickets, and additional suspensions. It is important to hire an attorney that not only understands the criminal justice system, but also knows how to work with DPS to get your license reinstated.