Oklahoma attorney says state needs to toughen up DUI laws
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Recent DUI crashes have some questioning if state laws are harsh enough.
In Oklahoma you can be convicted of multiple DUI’s but still keep your driver's license and avoid jail time.
"We just have to get tough in order to confront this problem,” Personal Injury Attorney Bryce Johnson said.
It’s a problem roaring through the roads of Oklahoma. Two people died after an alleged drunk driving crash in Yukon on New Year’s Eve. Now many are wondering how the driver was allowed to get behind the wheel after being previously convicted of 4 DUI’s according to court records.
"This is not their first go around, they've been convicted, 3, 4 or even 5 times with previous DUI and so our law has to have teeth,” Johnson said.
We're told in 2015 about 3500 crashes in Oklahoma involved impaired driving. Fox 25 talked with local attorney Bryce Johnson to gain more insight on DUI laws. He says there needs to be harsher penalties.
"Particularly with those that are multi time offenders, that has to be mandatory jail time and right now there's not mandatory jail time,” Johnson said
Johnson says even multiple DUI convictions don’t necessarily mean a driver will lose their license; it all depends on their blood alcohol level.
"If they blow more than a .15 they're going to lose their license perhaps for as long as 18 months,” Johnson said
Friends and family of Amanda Carson, who was killed in that New Year’s Eve crash are pushing for Mandy's law, demanding stricter DUI penalties. Johnson says the state of Oklahoma needs to make a change in order to save lives.
"Consequences are severe injury to death when you're in a wreck with a drunk driver, it's just so tragic and unfortunate,” Johnson said
State representative Mike Sanders has already taken action in the fight against DUI’s. He authored a bill last year that prohibits DUI cases from being heard in municipal non-courts of record, ensuring there's a court record of any DUI that will accessible by other courts.