Oklahoma Proposes Drinking Ban for Anyone Convicted of DUI

By McCarton Ackerman 01/09/15

A potential new law would make the state the toughest on drunk drivers, though it may prove difficult to enforce.

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Oklahoma could soon become the toughest state in the country when it comes to drunk driving after a new proposal that would ban anyone convicted of  DUI from buying or consuming alcohol.
Championed by Republican State Sen. Patrick Anderson, the bill would require convicted drivers to exchange their license for a new piece of identification marked “alcohol restricted,” leaving the courts free to determine the length of the restriction.

The proposed legislation would also hold individuals and businesses accountable for adhering to the restrictions by levying a fine of $1,000 or a prison sentence of up to one year if they "knowingly sell, deliver or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person who has been ordered to abstain." While it's unclear whether legislators will move forward on the proposal, the potential law would prove difficult to enforce.

The current bill doesn’t address what would happen if a “restricted” person is given a beverage that they are unaware contains alcohol. It also doesn’t specify what would happen if someone is served food that has alcohol in it. This could be the reason why New Mexico decided to not move forward on similar legislation in 2013 that would have made it temporarily illegal for anyone convicted of a DUI to consume alcohol.
But whether the law passes, Oklahoma has already established itself as one of the toughest states for convicted drunk drivers. A measure was passed last year that allows prosecutors to confiscate the car of anyone charged with drunk driving once their case reaches the court system.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.