OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma's highest court says the state Department of Public Safety is taking too long to revoke the driver's licenses of suspected drunken drivers, and reinstated the driving privileges of a Tulsa man arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
In its ruling Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court says the department violated Nathan Nichols Jr.'s constitutional right to a speedy trial by making him wait 16 months for a license revocation hearing.
The court's opinion says personnel and budgetary constraints of the department are insufficient to excuse the government's constitutional duty to provide a timely right to be heard.
The court noted that at least three appellate rulings have previously addressed the issue, which it says is one "of increasing concern."
DPS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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