- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma’s secretary of finance has won permission to drive again just weeks after losing the privilege for six months because of an alcohol-related offense.

Preston Doerflinger was charged in January 2015 with being in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The Oklahoman reported Thursday (https://bit.ly/29pmfv6 ) that he will be allowed to drive after his vehicle is modified with a device that requires drivers to prove they don’t have alcohol in their system.

The Department of Public Safety revoked Doerflinger’s driving privileges for six months, beginning June 8, after rejecting Doerflinger’s challenge. Doerflinger in turn asked the Oklahoma County District Court for permission to drive again, claiming a hardship because he lives in Tulsa but works in Oklahoma City. A special judge Wednesday granted Doerflinger permission to drive again, provided that an “ignition interlock device” is installed on his vehicle.

The device requires a driver to blow into a blood alcohol testing device. The vehicle will not start if alcohol is detected.

Doerflinger 44, can ask for a regular license in six months, but he must keep the ignition device on his vehicle for another 18 months after that, according to a Department of Public Safety lawyer.

The finance secretary pleaded no contest to the initial charge against him, and in an agreement with prosecutors the charge was changed to speeding. He was ticketed June 13 for driving while his license was revoked and for not wearing a seat belt. Doerflinger’s lawyer accepted responsibility, saying he and his client both believed Doerflinger could continue to drive while the case was under appeal.

As finance secretary, Doerflinger runs the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services and is the governor’s lead budget negotiator with the Legislature.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com


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