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DUI Stops and Arrest in Oklahoma

The first step in the DUI process is the arrest. Under Oklahoma law, a peace officer may arrest a person pursuant to a warrant signed by a neutral and detached magistrate and after demonstration of reasonable cause. Without a warrant, an officer may arrest a motorist:

  • for a public offense, committed or attempted in the officer’s presence
  • when the motorist committed a felony, although not in the officer’s presence, and
  • When a felony has in fact been committed, and the officer has reasonable cause to believe the person arrested to have committed it.

Furthermore, an officer also has the right to stop you if she has reasonable belief. Under the Terry stop the officer must ask herself, taking all the circumstances into consideration, “are there specific and articulable facts that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot?” For example, a car constantly switching lanes or stopping and going might create reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated. On the other hand, a car that changes lanes once would be insufficient.

The Terry stop gives the officer the right to briefly stop the vehicle and investigate whether the driver is intoxicated or not. If no intoxication is found, the driver is free to go. If found intoxicated, the officer has probable cause to arrest the individual or ask them to submit to a battery of test.

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