A new proposal to restrict people from buying or consuming alcohol if they’ve been convicted of DUI could make Oklahoma one of the toughest states in the country for DUI offenders. The proposed legislation would allow courts to order a person to abstain from alcohol for a period of time of the court’s choosing. The typical punishment for a first-time DUI conviction in most states includes a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Under the Oklahoma proposal, a convicted drunk driver would instead exchange his license for a new piece of identification marked “alcohol restricted.” The bill would then make it a felony to sell or provide alcohol to anyone with an “alcohol restricted” license. Those who “knowingly sell, deliver or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person who has been ordered to abstain” could face a fine of up to $1,000 or a year in prison.
It’s not clear that it would even be possible to enforce such a law. The bill says it would be illegal to “knowingly” sell or give alcohol to someone who’s been ordered to abstain, but it would be difficult to prove or disprove that knowledge in many cases – for instance, if someone gives a friend a bottle of beer at a backyard barbeque. The proposal follows an aggressive measure Oklahoma passed last year that allows the state to confiscate the vehicle of a person charged with drunk driving once that person’s case is in court.
The problem, of course, is that alcohol addiction is a disease. Those most seriously addicted will find a way to get it. Remember, it’s not the alcohol that’s responsible for alcohol-related collisions. It’s the choice to drive while drunk. In southern California, let an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney represent you if you’re charged with DUI. California won’t seize your vehicle or stop you from buying alcohol, but a first-offense misdemeanor DUI conviction is punishable by up to six months in jail and the temporary suspension of your driver’s license. In Orange County, if you’re arrested for DUI, call an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.