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Commercial Driver's License Traffic Tickets and DUI in Oklahoma

Commercial Driver’s License Traffic Tickets
and DUI In Oklahoma
By Glen R. Graham – Attorney at Law

When the Department of Public Safety receives notice of a commercial vehicle driver having 0.04 percent BAC, his/her license will be suspended as follows:
(This applies even if he/she is operating their own personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle)

First disqualification — One Year
Second disqualification — Lifetime

There is no work permit and no hardship license for a commercial driver’s license dui, dwi, or apc charge in Oklahoma. If timely requested within 15 days of the date of arrest, your attorney may be able to obtain an operator driver's license  “modified” operator’s driver’s license for you but this is not a cdl.  You should consult an attorney immediately.

The laws regarding the taking of your commercial driver’s license apply irregardless of whether you are operating your own personal vehicle or if you are operating a commercial vehicle.

You can request an administrative hearing within 15 days of the date of your arrest but your commercial driver’s license will still be taken but you can obtain a simple “operator’s driver’s license” pending an administrative hearing but you commercial driver’s license will be automatically taken upon your arrest for DUI with a breath alcohol content of .04 or above by law for a commercial driver’s license.  You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to  request an administrative hearing regarding your driver’s license and you can obtain an operator’s driver’s license if you make a timely request.

Oklahoma Commercial Vehicle Driver's Manual:

Serious Traffic Violations May Result in Disqualification or Loss of CDL

“Serious traffic violations” are the following:

    Excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the posted limit).
    Reckless driving.
    Improper or erratic lane changes.
    Following a vehicle too closely.
    Traffic offenses committed in a CMV in connection   with fatal traffic accidents.
    Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or having     a CDL in the driver’s possession.
    Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL   and/or endorsements.
    Using an electronic communications device to read   or send a text messages while driving a commercial    motor vehicle.
    Using a hand held cellular telephone while driving a commercial vehicle.

You will lose your CDL:
    First Offense – No loss of license.

    Second offense within a 3 year period: For at least 60 days if you have committed two serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a   CMV.

    Third Offense within a 3 year period: For at    least 120 days for three or more serious traffic violations within a three-year  period involving a CMV.

Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Commission of a Felony involving a Motor Vehicle

It is illegal to operate a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. If you operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have given your consent to alcohol testing.

Major Violations
Major violations will also result in a loss of your CDL and you will lose your CDL for at least one (1) year for a first offense for “major violations” such as:

    Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration   is .04% or higher.
    Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol.
    Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
    Driving a CMV while under the influence of a    controlled substance.
    Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV.
    Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
    Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended.
    Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV.

You will lose your CDL for at least three (3) years if the offense occurs while you are operating a CMV
that is placarded for hazardous materials.

You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense.

You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to commit a felony involving controlled substances.

You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you have any detectable amount of alcohol under .04%.

Oklahoma Implied Consent Laws (Commercial Vehicles)
The very act of driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle means that you have agreed to take one or more tests to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This law applies to everyone, residents and nonresidents alike. Refusal to 
take the test upon request by a law enforcement officer will result in an automatic revocation of your driving privilege, even if you have not been drinking. If you have been drinking, the test will determine the BAC level.

Notice - Traffic Violations in Your Personal Vehicle
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 requires a CDL holder to be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle if the CDL holder has been convicted of certain types of moving violations in their personal vehicle.

If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to violations of traffic control laws (other than parking violations) you will also lose your CDL driving privileges..
If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to alcohol,controlled substance or felony violations, you will lose your CDL for 1 year.   If you are convicted of a second violation in your personal vehicle or CMV you will lose your CDL for life.
If your license to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended you may not obtain a “hardship” license to operate a CMV.

The law in Oklahoma requires the CDL holder to notify his or her employer within 30 days of a traffic violation conviction. In addition, if you get a traffic ticket in another state, you are required to inform your employer and the Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles.

In Oklahoma - the Federal Government has established certain guidelines which it has imposed on the State subject to the state losing millions of dollars of highway funds and federal dollars.  These guidelines prohibit the courts, prosecutors, and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety from "masking" certain traffic offenses committed by commercial driver's license holders.  Here is a sample of the memorandum letter sent by the Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety regarding this matter prohibiting masking:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has laws under 49 CRF Sec. 384.226 which prohibit the states from "masking" any traffic violation by the holder of a commercial driver's license.  This law treats most traffic offenses by a CDL holder as a conviction under federal law.  Any deferred sentence or payment of  court costs or payment of any fine even if the matter is amended to another offense may be treated as a conviction for a holder of a commercial driver's license.  The only way for the holder of a commercial driver's license to be sure not to have a traffic violation reported as a conviction is to go to trial and be found "not guilty."
To read more about the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety rules prohibiting masking see:

Glen R. Graham, Traffic dui dwi Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Telephone: (918) 583-4621 or 
(918) 260-8184 Address: 1612 S. Cincinnati Ave., Tulsa, OK

Reckless Driving Traffic Ticket Defense in Oklahoma

Reckless Driving Traffic Ticket Defense in Oklahoma

By Glen R. Graham, Criminal Defense Lawyer Tulsa, Oklahoma  Phone 918-260-8184

You should talk with a good local, experienced traffic ticket lawyer before your court date. Glen R. Graham attorney at law is an experienced traffic lawyer with over 25 years experience representing the people of Oklahoma.  His website is and his phone number is 918-260-8184.  The traffic laws and the laws concerning reckless driving tickets in Oklahoma are set forth in the Oklahoma Statutes and in the municipal city ordinances of Tulsa, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, and surrounding areas.

Reckless driving in Oklahoma is a serious criminal offense

Oklahoma reckless driving is a serious criminal misdemeanor and it carries a potential for 4 points on your Oklahoma Department of Public Safety driving record  and  a potential fine of $500, and a potential jail sentence of 90 days.  A second offense carries additional penalties as listed below.
Aside from the fine and jail time, your license could also be suspended up to 1 year. And a reckless driving Oklahoma conviction stays on your Oklahoma DMV record for years and for insurance purposes for a minimum of 3 years.

Oklahoma reckless driving: 1st Offense: 5 days to 90 days and/or 0-$500 plus costs; 2nd Offense: 10 days to 6 months and/or $150 - $1,000 plus costs.

The statutory prohibition concerning reckless driving in Oklahoma is set forth in the Oklahoma Statutes under  title 47 O.S. §11-901 which states:

A. It shall be deemed reckless driving for any person to drive a motor vehicle in a careless or wanton manner without regard for the safety of persons or property or in violation of the conditions outlined in Section 11-801 of this title (which is the general rules of the road speed restrictions).

B. Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished upon a first conviction by imprisonment for a period of not less than five (5) days nor more than ninety (90) days, or by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment; on a second or subsequent conviction, punishment shall be imprisonment for not less than ten (10) days nor more than six (6) months, or by a fine of not less than One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Further, explanation for the statutory requirements  or required elements to prove reckless driving in Oklahoma are set forth in the Oklahoma jury instructions as stated below:

OUJI-CR 6-32

No person may be convicted of reckless driving unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:
First, driving;
Second, a motor vehicle;
Third, in a careless or wanton manner;
Fourth(without regard for the safety of persons or property) or (that violated lawful speed limits) or (that [failed to attain]/exceeded the speed that a careful and prudent person would have considered reasonable and proper having due regard for the traffic, surface, and width of the highway, and other conditions) or (that exceeded the speed that a careful and prudent person would have considered reasonable and proper in order to stop within the assured clear distance ahead).

Further and more fruitful discussion concerning the limitations and the definition of reckless driving in Oklahoma are contained the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction Committee Comments following the jury instructions for Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions at OUJI-CR-6-32 which is for Oklahoma jury instructions for reckless driving.   See the comments following the relevant listed Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instruction which include:

The first alternative, "without regard for the safety of persons or property," restates the statutory language of section 11-901.  This language seems to indicate that the defendant must have had a conscious awareness of dangers to the safety of persons or property. In the opinion of the Commission, no such subjective mens rea is required for conviction for the crime of reckless driving. To establish the first alternative, it is necessary to prove only that the acts and conduct of the defendant, as judged by an objective reasonable-and-prudent-person standard, created dangers for the safety of persons or propertyLamb v. State70 Okl. Cr. 236105 P.2d 799 (1940).

The three other alternatives of the fourth element list violations of the conditions of 47 O.S. 1991, § 11-801. Subdivision (a) of section 11-801 has a general rule concerning the expected appropriate conduct of drivers with regard to the speed at which they should drive. The provisions of the general rules are reflected in the last two alternatives of the fourth element. The remaining subdivisions of section 11-801 set specific speed limits for various situations and types of vehicles. Violation of speed limits is the second alternative. The Commission has stated the violations of section 11-801, rather than using the statutory language of section 11-901, in order to avoid the necessity for a separate definitional instruction for the violations of section 11-801.

It should be stressed that proof that the defendant has driven in a manner which disregards the safety of persons or property, or which violates the conditions of section 11-801, is not enough by itself to convict the defendant of the crime of reckless driving. The State must also prove that the defendant was driving in the "careless or wanton manner" of the third element. For example, the defendant must not only be speeding, but also must be speeding to such an extent that his conduct would constitute culpable negligence. A "careless or wanton manner" signifies more than simply a violation of the speeding laws; it signifies culpable negligence. Chappell v. State462 P.2d 325 (Okl. Cr. 1969);Scott v. State71 Okl. Cr. 54108 P.2d 189 (1941).

The Commission has decided that the best way to understand the coverage of the reckless-driving crime of section 11-901 was to compare the facts of cases in which the Court of Criminal Appeals has indicated that a reckless-driving conviction is proper with the facts of cases in which the Court of Criminal Appeals has reversed a reckless driving conviction for insufficient evidence. Conviction proper: Wolf v. State375 P.2d 283 (Okl. Cr. 1966) (intoxicated driver forcing other drivers off the road); Matchen v. State349 P.2d 28 (Okl. Cr. 1960) (speeding at 100-105 m.p.h.); Hooper v. State348 P.2d 191 (Okl. Cr. 1959) (driving up behind cars then skidding sideways and passing in face of oncoming traffic, thereby forcing other cars off the road); Sullivan v. State333 P.2d 591 (Okl. Cr. 1958) ("three beers" and 80-85 in a 55 m.p.h. zone, resulting in accident); Allen v. State273 P.2d 152 (Okl. Cr. 1954) ("three beers" and accident); Hoover v. State94 Okl. Cr. 227233 P.2d 327 (1951) (passing in the face of oncoming traffic, causing accident). Conviction not proper: Herman v. City of Oklahoma City501 P.2d 1111, 1112 (Okl. Cr. 1972) (no evidence of speed of vehicle); Scottsupra, (backing out of driveway into road and a collision occurred).

Mitigating factors

There are lots of factors that we can argue to the judge to reduce or even dismiss a reckless driving charge. You’ll want to talk with an attorney about the ones that apply to your unique case, but a few general guidelines are:
 *  Good driving record
 *  Speedometer reading incorrectly
 *  Radar calibration issues
 *  Legitimate emergency
There are many other factors that can play into some specific types of reckless driving charges. And your attorney might be able to further lessen your potential punishment. You might need to take several steps in advance to help properly prepare your case for court:
 *  Get a copy of your driving record 
 *  Have your speedometer calibrated.  Take pictures of the area.  Obtain witness statements.
 *  Take a "live" DPS approved  driver education class (normally completed as part of the plea bargain)
 *  As part of a plea bargain if the court allows it then you may complete some community service.
Judicial discretion
The traffic court judges in Tulsa County District Court and the surrounding municipal courts of Tulsa, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Glenpool, Wagoner,  exercise considerable discretion in determining your reckless driving punishment. This means that an attorney can argue for you and possibly reduce your charge or punishment.
Importantly, judges can use their discretion to reduce a reckless driving charge to “carelss driving.” Careless driving is a mere traffic infraction with a fine of no more than $500. Careless driving only carries two DMV points, and it is removed from your  driving record for insurance purposes after three years.  Most importantly if your attorney can obtain a plea bargain agreement to reduce your charge from reckless driving to careless driving, then you would not lose your driver’s license for one (1) year by virtue of a conviction for reckless driving.
 Reducing Points

Points can often be reduced in three ways:

  *  You will have two points removed for each 12 month period in which you do not receive another pointable ticket.
  *  If you go for three consecutive years after your last violation with no violations, all points will be removed from your driving record and you will revert to a clean driving record.

  *  You may also reduce your driving record by two points if you attend traffic school. 

No Work Permit Driver's License for Reckless Driving Convictions in Oklahoma

Aaron’s law, which is a new Oklahoma traffic law that became effective November 1, 2011,  also states that drivers will have their driver’s license suspended for one (1)  year if they are convicted of reckless driving, or failing to obey traffic signs (stop/yield/other) that results in great bodily injury or failing to stop for a school bus loading or unloading children. The suspension of the driver’s license will not be eligible for modification which means there will be no work permit to drive if you get convicted.  If convicted, you would totally lose your drivers license for one (1) year, and your license would be suspended, with no work permit.   You should hire a lawyer for you on this matter to attempt to negotiate a plea bargain to avoid a conviction for the offense charged.



By Glen R. Graham – Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer – Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Glenpool, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Oklahoma

The Graham Law Firm – 1612 S. Cincinnati Ave., Tulsa, OK 74119
Phone: 918-583-4621

           NEW NEW NEW  ---> New laws were passed -  you SHOULD request an administative hearing on your driver's license within 15 days of the date of your arrest new post about the new laws  another Blog RECENTLY POSTED  - new updated material is located at the following:        

            NOTICE:  The new department of public safety policy is to treat all requests in the alternative for an administrative hearing or a modified driver’s license (work permit)  as a request for an administrative hearing.   Therefore, within fifteen (15) days from the date of your arrest for a dui or drunk driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence charge - - -   you must make a decision to either:


            1.  Request a Modified Driver’s License (also called a work permit) and Waive your right to an administrative hearing on your driver’s license.
            - OR –
            2.  Request an Administrative Hearing on your driver’s license and the DPS will then mail you a temporary driver’s license good till the date of the administrative hearing.
            3.  If the 15 days since your arrest has already elapsed, then you have automatically WAIVED your right to an administrative hearing on your driver’s license but you can still get a temporary driver’s license by following correct DPS procedures  for a temporary modified driver’s license (also called a work permit) which an attorney can explain to you (but which may require installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle at a costs of $76 per month)

            I  can  assist you in requesting in the modified driver’s license permit to drive  or  the administrative hearing on your driver's license.  We can send a letter to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety  (by fax)  and they have to receive it within 15 days of the date of your arrest (not just mailed but actually received).  There are no extensions of time and it is a flat 15 days including counting weekends and counting holidays.  If the final day for receipt falls on a holiday or weekend then it is extended to the following Monday or day that they are open, but you should not wait till the last minute to send them the letter.  If you are here in my office, then I can assist you in faxing this request today.

            In response to your letter, the Department of Public Safety will mail you a letter in about  5 to 6  weeks:

            Under Option One (1) which is waiving the administrative hearing:  
In response to your letter, the Dept. of Public Safety will mail you a letter in about 5-6 weeks.  It will say that you have thirty (30) days from the date of their letter to do the following:

1.     Go to the local office for the Department of Public Safety Office which is located at 14002 E. 21st  Street (Old Eastland Mall Complex - Lower Level) in Tulsa, Oklahoma  - Located at approximately  21st Street and 145th E. Ave.  (Open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm)
2.     Pay them a fee of $175 dollars in form of a money order or cashier’s check  for a temporary drivers license fee.
3.     Have installed in your vehicle an interlock ignition device that you blow into to start your car and blow into about every  15 to 30 minutes.  It costs about $75 dollars per month plus either an installation fee of $75 or a removal fee of about $75.   The DPS  will  require an original installation certificate for proof of the interlock.
4.     Provide proof of current insurance.
6.     IF  BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE DRIVING AN EMPLOYERS VEHICLE then they want an affidavit from the employer.
7.     You will be required to surrender all proof of driving privileges – such as any letters to drive on or any new drivers licenses that you may have obtained. And the DPS issues you a new photo id drivers license with interlock required notation on it.
Normally on your first (1st)  DUI or APC offense or arrest, the period of time is usually six (6) months, unless your breath result was .15 or  higher or you refused to take the test. 
 1st One Below .15 = Interlock for 6 months temp license.  (Above .08 below .15) 
 1st One:  But, if your result was  .15 or more  or  if you refused the test then interlock for 24 months.  (6 months temporary plus 18 months regular license)

 On All - DUI 2nd = requires interlock for 1 year during the modification period and for 4 years after that  (total of 5 years) (*APPLIES to ALL DUI 2nd Arrests)

On All – DUI 3rd = requires interlock for 3 years modified license plus for an additional 5 years after that for a total of 8 years.

            In response to the letter to them they send you a letter in about 5-6 weeks.
You only have thirty (30) days from the date of their letter offering you a modified drivers license to complete the requirements and go to the DPS office at 21st & 145th E. Ave.   

            Under Option Two (2) which is Requesting an Administrative Hearing:   You can choose to have an administrative hearing  by sending a letter to them telling them that  you want the hearing WITHIN 15 DAYS OF THE DATE OF YOUR ARREST.

Again - initially you only have 15 days from the date of your arrest  to make the request, but if it is a response to their letter then you have 30 days from the date of their letter.   You will need and should hire an attorney to appear at the administrative hearing.   My fee is negotiable.

If you win the DPS hearing then you do NOT have to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle.   It is very difficult to win a DPS license administrative hearing because it is a civil administrative proceeding and not a court hearing.  Hearsay is admissible and the hearing judge is a DPS official and not a district court judge.  It would be similar to having the Chief Law Enforcement Officer or chief of police listen to the evidence to decide if correct procedures were followed and if you should lose your license.  An administrative hearing is not held in a court room and court rules do not apply.  It is governed by administrative hearing rules, not court rules.

It is  very important to note that by having an administrative hearing, you could gain insight into what mistakes if any that the officer may have made in your case but if you lose the administrative hearing then to keep a license you have to appeal which costs more money.  If you lose the administrative hearing then you have 30 days to appeal the matter to the district court which requires payment of additional monies.

          Pay Attorney fees of for admin hearing                     $Negotiable
            Pay Appeal Court Costs of About                            $148.00
            Pay Appeal Cash Bond Fee of                                 $250.00
            Pay Attorney fees for Appeal/Petition/Order             $Negotiable
                                                                        TOTAL:    $398 plus Negotiable Attorney Fees
            IF YOU CHOSE TO WAIVE THE DPS HEARING THEN YOU SAVE THIS MONEY AND NOT HAVE TO PAY THIS ADDITIONAL MONEY.   HOWEVER,  THEN THE DPS requires you to pay them the $175 fee and to have a interlock installed in your vehicle for $76 per month.   However,  if you won the DPS hearing then you could avoid having the interlock device installed in your vehicle unless you got convicted of the offense.

You do not have to appeal – You could choose to agree to a modified license with an interlock device in PLACE of the administrative hearing.   Or,  you can lose your license instead by not doing anything, but the only way to keep a license is to appeal if you choose to have an administrative hearing but if you choose to waive the hearing and pay for the modified license in place of a hearing then you DO NOT HAVE TO APPEAL because you did not have a hearing.  

Lastly, you do not have to have a hearing.  In most cases, you can waive your right to an administrative hearing and  pay for a temporary drivers license  and interlock device  in place of an administrative hearing = it is usually cheaper not to have a hearing.

It is also important to note that if you get convicted of a driving under the influence case, then the department of public safety may suspend your driver's license   by virtue of receiving a conviction for a dui   separately from the administrative hearing -  which means that even if you win the administrative hearing that the department of public safety may suspend you driver’s license but if you agree to a modified driver’s license  in place of the hearing then you would not lose you driving privilege if you were convicted of the DUI.

In other words - even if you win a DPS hearing - you would lose your driver’s license if you got a DUI or APC conviction in criminal court on the matter.  However, if you got a deferred sentence which is not a conviction or if you got the matter reduced to a lesser offense, then you did not get a “conviction” in court for the offense, and you do not lose your license by virtue of a conviction.