DPS Suspension following a DUI; The Officer’s Affidavit
The Oklahoma Department of Safety (DPS) is tasked with suspending the driving privileges of persons arrested for DUI in Oklahoma. DPS relies on two documents to initiate such suspensions: a blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) report and a sworn statement from the arresting officer (Officer’s Affidavit). 47 O.S. 754(c) requires that the Officer’s Affidavit contain a statement the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the arrested person had been operating (or was in actual physical control) of the motor vehicle. Upon receipt of these two items—the blood or breath alcohol concentration report and the Officer’s Affidavit—DPS revokes the individual’s license effective 30 days following notice of the suspension.
The Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma recently decided a case where the facts of the underlying DUI stop were not in dispute, but the arrested person challenged the DPS suspension on the ground the officer did complete the Officer’s Affidavit with the statutorily required statement the officer reasonably believed the person had been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. While the Officer’s Affidavit in question identified the driver, the breath-alcohol analysis, and the driver’s behavior and circumstances of arrest, the only personal attestation contained in the form was that the officer administered the BAC test. The Court held a failure to include a statement the officer reasonably believed the person had been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol rendered the Officer’s Affidavit insufficient for DPS to rely on in suspending the individual’s driving privileges.
What is the moral of this story? It’s always advisable to immediately seek the opinion of a qualified DUI attorney to investigate every aspect of your DUI arrest. The Oklahoma statutes are very clear when it comes to the requirements of a DUI arrest, accompanying paperwork, and the administrative suspension which results. If you have questions regarding a DUI arrest or DPS license suspension, contact one of our Tulsa DUI Attorneys at (918)592-1144 or online here for a consultation.
 Tucker v. State ex rel. Dept. of Public Safety, 2014 OK CIV APP 45.