Oklahoma poised for DWI law change - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Oklahoma poised for DWI law change

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Oklahoma will soon be enforcing big changes to laws dealing with driving under the influence.

Offenders will be offered a chance to join an impaired driver accountability program, or IDAP. 

"Those participants won't lose their license, so that will help them when someone looks at their driving record or potentially with insurance rates, but the law also puts in safeguards for those drivers," explained attorney Thomas Marcum.

Those participating in IDAP will be required to install an alcohol interlock device on their vehicle. First-time offenders are looking at spending six months with the device; a second offense bumps it up to a year, and a third conviction means a three-year term.

Drivers who wish to appeal their citation will no longer be fighting the Department of Public Safety; they'll be going straight to court.

"That step has been eliminated, and all driver license challenges have to be done through the district court," attorney Thomas Marcum explained. "That eliminates a step of due process that may be harmful to some defendants."

The new law takes effect on November 1.

"There'll be some growing pains with the new law," Marcum said. "There are some parts of it that will be detrimental to some defendants. There are also a lot of potential positives to the law."

Officials said it could potentially save defendants from losing their license and it could be less expensive.

But attorneys say not everything in the new law is clear, and a lot of it is untested. How the IDAP program works and who is paying the court fee for challengers is still up in the air.

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