Oklahoma Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
Private retailers can sell alcohol in Oklahoma, with only low alcohol beer available in grocery stores and convenient marts. Interestingly, low alcohol beer is available cold and higher alcohol beer, available at the liquor stores, is only available at room temperature. Local ordinances mandate the hours that alcohol may be served or sold.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
The legal drinking age in Oklahoma, as in all states, is 21 years of age. However, 18 is the legal age for a person to work as a bartender, to transport alcohol, or to work as a server in a restaurant that sells alcohol.
Open Container Laws
Open container laws mandate that previously opened bottles of alcohol must be transported in a vehicle’s trunk where it is not accessible to the passengers and driver.
At .08 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC), a driver is considered to be ‘per se intoxicated’ and can be charged with DUI (driving under the influence) with no other evidence required.
A driver who is chemically tested and registers a BAC level that is .15 percent or more over the maximum legal intoxication limit of .08 percent is subject to harsher penalties.
Underage drivers in Oklahoma may not have any registered BAC or they can be subject to DUI penalties just as are adults under the ‘zero tolerance laws.’
The laws that require drivers under suspicion of DUI (driving under the influence) are known as ‘implied consent laws.’ Under penalty of mandatory suspension of driving privileges for up to a year, a driver under these laws must comply with a police officer’s request for breath, blood, or urine testing for alcohol content.
In Oklahoma, the first DUI conviction has a mandatory sentence of driver’s license suspension by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for 30 days; for the second offense, six months; for the third offense, one year.
Under specific circumstances, the state may confiscate a driver’s vehicle permanently or temporarily. This punishment is usually reserved for repeat offenders. It can involve significant expense for the offender in the form of fines and administrative fees. Also under limited circumstances, education, treatment, or assessment for alcohol abuse can be required for DUI offenders. The courts can also require installation of an ignition interlock device at the driver’s expense.
DUI is considered a felony after the first conviction.