TULSA — Most Oklahomans have likely never heard of the Board of Tests, unless they’ve been arrested or charged with DUI.
The BOT and the Department of Public Safety have been the targets of several lawsuits in recent years which challenged the legality of rules pertaining to breath tests and the equipment used to administer them.
The state agencies have lost each of those lawsuits, and now they face yet another.
The Edge Law Firm of Tulsa and Hunsucker Legal Group of Oklahoma City have brought the latest action even as DPS backs legislation that would potentially make it all but impossible to mount a defense against a DUI charge.
In a statement sent to KRMG, the law firms say the new law would:
- Make it a Crime to exercise your Constitutional Rights
- Punish drivers for even requesting a hearing
- Consider a person guilty until proven innocent
- Result in a person losing their Driver's License even if they were found not guilty in court
- Result in a person losing their Driver's License even if the court case were dismissed
- Result in DPS having to fire almost all of the attorneys within its agency
Bruce Edge of the Edge Law Firm told KRMG Tuesday that Senate Bill 643 shifts the burden of proof to the defendant in an administrative hearing which could result in the defendant losing his or her vehicle.
“They’re going to shift the burden of proof in the administrative hearing to where the license holder has to prove their innocence,” Edge said. “I know it’s probably hard to believe what I’m telling you, but it’s in this (Senate) Bill 643.”
If the plaintiffs prevail in the lawsuit, all administrative actions taken against DUI defendants since October of last year would be voided, up until the date of the final ruling on the case.
The breath tests in those cases would be invalidated.
He said this case would not affect the criminal charges in those cases, but other litigation is ongoing regarding that aspect of the case.