For the past several weeks, Oklahomans have been focused on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA playoffs. However, an incident yesterday briefly turned eyes back to football in Oklahoma.
Former OSU football standout Justin Blackmon, who has been drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, was arrested for aggravated DUI in Oklahoma early Sunday morning. Blackmon, who was previously arrested for DUI in 2010, pleaded not guilty to the current charge. According to reports, at approximately 3:00 a.m. Sunday, Stillwater police observed a Chevy Tahoe traveling left of center at 60 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone.
When an officer attempted to stop the vehicle, it continued for another four blocks before pulling over. Police said Blackmon, the driver of the Tahoe, admitted to drinking before driving, exhibited slurred speech, and was unsteady on his feet.
He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and taken to the Stillwater jail, where a breathalyzer test allegedly revealed his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be 0.24--three times the legal limit for driving under the influence in Oklahoma. Oklahoma DUI laws designate that driving with a BAC greater than 0.15 is considered aggravated DUI.
Oklahoma DUI lawyers note that aggravated DUI may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on other circumstances. Aggravated DUI carries additional penalties not levied in a regular DUI charge. For example, a first offense misdemeanor DUI is punishable by 10 days to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
However, if the offense is determined to be aggravated DUI, other penalties include:
- A minimum of 28 days in an in-patient alcohol treatment facility
- Probation to include one year of aftercare or meetings upon release from the treatment facility
- Alcohol monitoring and periodic testing during probation
- 480 hours community service
- Installation of ignition interlock for a minimum of 30 days
A DUI conviction carries several consequences beyond jail, fines, probation, and driver's license suspension. A criminal record may have a negative impact on personal, professional, and educational opportunities. If you have been charged with driving under the influence or other alcohol-related driving offense, consult an Oklahoma DUI defense attorney who can explain your options.