OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A lawsuit filed Monday by four attorneys challenges the constitutionality of Oklahoma's new drunken driving law.
The lawsuit filed Monday against Gov. Mary Fallin, the Senate president pro tem, the House speaker, the state's public safety commissioner and two prosecutors asks the state Supreme Court to assume jurisdiction of the case, bypassing lower courts.
The bill signed into law by Fallin on June 8 abolishes the appeals process for people trying to keep their licenses after being arrested for DUI and takes effect Nov. 1. Fallin later issued an executive order allowing an administrative hearing if the state Department of Public Safety plans to revoke a person's license.
Governor's attorney James Williamson said Fallin is authorized to issue an executive order, which clarifies that the governor expects the department to follow the decisions of the Oklahoma Supreme Court on due-process protections for drivers' licenses.
Williamson declined further comment on the pending lawsuit, saying it will be addressed in court filings.
The lawsuit by John Hunsucker, Charles Sifer and Stephen Fabian of Oklahoma City and Bruce Edge of Tulsa, who handle DUI cases, alleges the law denies a person the right to due process by requiring an arresting officer to seize a person's driver's license and the public safety department to destroy it, said attorney Brian Morton, who represents the four.
The lawsuit also alleges the law violates the state Constitution's ban on bills containing more than one subject, and Morton said Fallin's order issued after she signed the bill into law is essentially a veto of the measure.
"Through the executive order, she removed what the bill does," by allowing for a hearing if revocation of a driver's license is being sought, Morton said.