Oklahoma Board of Tests: What It Is and Why It Matters
Tests: A lot of people don’t like them, especially when they fail. And when those tests involve driving under the influence (DUI), you can get in serious trouble for failing. The Oklahoma Board of Tests is an organization in charge of many aspects of DUI cases, so it’s important to know what it does and how its rules might affect your case.
What Is the Oklahoma Board of Tests?
The Oklahoma Board of Tests is a state administrative agency that’s in charge of programs relating to impaired driving. Its full name is the Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence, and its goal is to improve public safety in the state through training, regulation, and testing. The Board has been around since 1967, when it was created by Senate Bill 28 and called the State Board of Chemical Tests for Alcoholic Influence.
What Does the Oklahoma Board of Tests Do?
The Oklahoma Board of Tests follows the rules established by Oklahoma Administrative Code Title 40 to regulate the state’s breath and blood testing for alcohol and drugs, as well as the ignition interlock program and parts of the Impaired Driving Accountability Program (IDAP).
Giving a breathalyzer in the State of Oklahoma involves much more than an officer randomly pulling you over and asking you to blow into the device. There are lots of rules and regulations around breath testing, and the Board is in charge of them all.
- Procedure: Before giving you a breathalyzer, the officer must make sure you don’t have anything in your mouth and must watch you for 15 minutes to make sure you don’t drink alcohol, smoke, or vomit, among other procedural rules.
- Operator Training: Anyone who gives a breathalyzer in Oklahoma needs a Breath Alcohol Operator Permit, and the Board is in charge of who gets to be an instructor, where they’re trained, and the training materials. Permit holders must pass a written test and complete a set of practical exercises.
- Equipment Maintenance: The Board is in charge of maintaining the state’s breathalyzers and making sure they operate properly.
If an officer thinks you’re under the influence of drugs or if their breathalyzer isn’t working, they’ll ask you to take a blood test. Like with breath testing, the Board makes and enforces the rules for blood testing.
- Procedure: Blood samples need to be uncontaminated and the chain of custody needs to be maintained, meaning that the status of the sample is always known and recorded.
- Personnel Authorization: Only licensed medical doctors or practical nurses, registered nurses, certified phlebotomists, and licensed personnel can withdraw blood. Only a person with a Forensic Alcohol Analysis or Drug Analysis Permit can analyze the results of the test. The Board issues and renews these permits, which are good for one year.
- Facility Approval: Only labs approved by the Oklahoma Board of Tests can process blood samples. There are only four in the state: one operated by the Tulsa Police Department and three in Oklahoma City, operated by the police department, the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Ignition Interlock Program
If you’re convicted of aggravated DUI, which is a breath or blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or above, or you enter IDAP, you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock in your car. This is essentially a breathalyzer you need to blow into before you drive. If the device detects alcohol, your car won’t start. The Oklahoma Board of Tests oversees this program.
- Device Certification: The Board is in charge of testing devices and maintaining a list of approved devices. Testing makes sure that there are no defects, the device meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) specifications, and it passes the state’s compliance testing. The Board recertifies devices annually.
- Service Center and Technician Licensing: Ignition interlocks can only be installed by a technician licensed by the Board, at a service center that is also licensed by the Board. The technician must also provide installation verification.
- Device Maintenance: The Board makes the rules regarding maintenance. Every 65 days, licenesd technicians must calibrate ignition interlocks, which means they make sure they’re taking the right measurements. They’ll also make sure the car and device haven’t been tampered with.
- Device Removal: Only the Oklahoma Board of Tests can authorize the removal of a device. Only a licensed technician can remove it, and they must notify the Board.
Impaired Driving Accountability Program
The Impaired Driving Accountability Program (IDAP) is a state program that restores driving privileges for certain DUI offenses. The Oklahoma Board of Tests administers IDAP for all DUI arrests made on or after November 1, 2022. (If your arrest was made before that, Service Oklahoma administers your program.) Service Oklahoma is still in charge of issuing Orders of Revocation and determining the length of time your license will be revoked.
- Applications: The Board accepts and processes IDAP applications, although you’ll need to submit your Order of Revocation from Service Oklahoma along with your application. It will then issue a Confirmation of Enrollment.
- Violations: The Board defines violations of IDAP, which include three positive test results within 15 minutes, tampering with a device, and another arrest for a DUI before you’ve completed the program.
- Completion: When you reach the completion date on your Confirmation of Enrollment, you can request a review from the Board. They’ll look at your record and confirm you had no violations in the past 90 days of your program. Then they can issue a Certificate of Completion, and you’ll get your full driving privileges back.
What to Do If You Took a Drug or Alcohol Test in Oklahoma
When an officer wants you to take a breathalyzer or a blood draw, they’ll ask you to take the “State’s Test.” You are allowed to refuse, but your license will be automatically suspended, so many people end up taking the test – and getting a positive result. But a positive result isn’t always the end of your case.
All the regulations we just talked about from the Oklahoma Board of Tests help ensure that the results are accurate and can hold up in court. That means that if any of these rules weren't followed, you might be able to get your case dismissed. You should contact a DUI lawyer as soon as you can to evaluate your case and determine your chances of getting a dismissal or a plea deal.
The Bottom Line
The Oklahoma Board of Tests takes alcohol and drug testing programs seriously – and so should you. If you’ve already had a test result come back positive, or you think you will, contact the Tulsa DUI Guy today for a free case evaluation. We’ll give you the representation you deserve and help you get the best possible outcome.