Rep. Kevin West Passes DUI Release Change

Ponca City Now - March 11, 2024 5:42 am

Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore,

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, passed a bill in the House intended to keep the public safe from repeat drunk or drug-impaired drivers.

House Bill 3220 would prohibit the release by law enforcement of someone accused of their second or subsequent driving under the influence charge without the granting of bail by a magistrate, judge or court.

“Instead of just standard release once a person is sober and able to bond out, this just adds a step to help ensure we are protecting the public from repeat and potentially dangerous offenders,” West said. “The official elected by voters in their county would now have the opportunity to ask questions and examine records on prior offenses to see if release make sense in light of keeping the public safe. They also may determine if bail needs to be set higher in certain instances.”

The measure further stipulates than when determining bond, the magistrate, judge, or court is to consider any evidence that the person is dependent upon alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance or has a pattern of regular abuse of alcohol or drugs and present written findings on the bail amount. The measure clarifies the procedure for obtaining a blood withdrawal for blood alcohol testing by allowing a duly authorized peace officer to provide a written statement that there are exigent circumstances which necessitate the withdrawal of blood.

HB3220 passed the House on a vote of 78-16. It moves to the Senate where it is authored by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore.


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