FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING DUII:
*Disclaimer: the follow information is provided as general information regarding Oregon DUII laws. It is not intended as legal advice. It is important to talk to an attorney about the specific facts of your case in order to receive legal advice.
- What is Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants?
- Who gets charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants?
- Is Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants a serious charge?
- What is DUII Diversion?
- Should I enter the DUII Diversion Program?
- Am I eligible for the Oregon DUII Diversion Program?
- How long is the Oregon DUII Diversion Program?
- What if I don’t finish the DUII Diversion requirements within one year?
- What happens if I’m not successful in the Oregon DUII Diversion program?
- What are my options when I am charged with DUII?
- Can I win if I take my DUII case to trial?
- Will the punishment get worse if I get arrested for drunk driving a second or third time?
- Will I lose my license if I’m arrested for DUII?
- Can I fight my license suspension?
- Will my license automatically be reinstated at the end of the suspension period?
- Can I get a hardship permit during my license suspension?
- Can I get arrested for drunken bike riding?
- Can I get arrested for driving a boat while intoxicated?
What is Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants?
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants is frequently referred to by the acronyms DUII, DUI, or DWI – they all mean the same thing, and in Oregon the most common way to refer to drunk driving is DUII. It all means the same: that the state is accusing someone of operating a car when they aren’t sober enough to drive safely.
Who gets charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants?
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (often referred to as “drunk driving”) is a crime that a wide variety of people find themselves charged with, from paupers to princes. Unlike most other crimes, there is no mental state requirement for this charge, meaning that you don’t have to intend to drive drunk in order to be charged with or convicted of it. This means that many people that otherwise would never see the inside of a police cell or interact with a criminal judge suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Getting charged with DUII can be embarrassing, frightening, and overall a difficult experience. We have years of experience in defending DUII cases and we understand how traumatizing the experience can be. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your drunk driving case in a compassionate but zealous manner.
Is Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants a serious charge?
Getting charged with drunk driving is extremely serious. In Oregon a basic DUII is a Class A Misdemeanor, meaning that it is the most serious level of crime before felony. All Class A Misdemeanors carry a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail plus a maximum fine of $6,250. All Oregon DUII cases also carry minimum punishments that must be imposed if you are convicted, which include a fine of at least $1,000, 2 days jail or 80 hours of community service, and a 1 year driver’s license suspension. These are only the minimums; see below for examples where the minimum punishments are increased. Given the serious nature of Oregon DUII cases, it’s important to know your rights early and to get zealous representation. We are experienced Oregon DUII attorneys who can help you. Call us today to set up an appointment.
What is DUII Diversion?
If this is your first time getting charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, then you may be eligible for Oregon’s DUII Diversion program. The DUII Diversion program gives first-time offenders the chance to participate in alcohol treatment and to follow other basic program rules in order to get their drunk driving charges dismissed. DUII Diversion requires strict following of the rules, which include attending a Victim Impact Panel, not consuming alcohol, installing a Ignition Interlock Device (IID) if driving, and paying standard fines. Contact us to discuss all of the requirements of DUII Diversion.
Should I enter the DUII Diversion Program?
There are many benefits to participating in the Oregon DUII Diversion program if you are eligible. The main reason is that, if the rules are followed, then at the end of one year the court will dismiss the Oregon DUII charges and you will not have a conviction on your record. Maintaining a clean record can help you with your employment and insurance premiums. Avoiding a conviction for DUII is also extremely helpful should you ever being arrested for drunk driving again as the penalties for Oregon DUII get much worse with each conviction. In addition, while you while have to pay some court and treatment costs, you will avoid the $1,000+ minimum fine that comes with a DUII conviction. You also will avoid any jail time or community service. Best of all, your driver’s license will not be subject to the mandatory one year suspension that comes with a conviction. We are happy to discuss whether the Oregon DUII Diversion program is right for you; call us today.
Am I eligible for the Oregon DUII Diversion Program?
Most people are eligible for DUII Diversion if this is their first DUII arrest. There are several ways that a person can be disqualified from the DUII Diversion program, even if they are arrested for a first time DUI offense; these include if the person holds a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), if the person is also charged with any type of assault based on an accident that occurred while they were drunk driving, or if they completed any other court ordered substance abuse treatment within a certain amount of time.
There are also many circumstances in which the court can let a person into the DUII Diversion program, but doesn’t have to, such as if there was a minor child in the car at the time of the drunk driving. Even if the District Attorney objects to a person entering the Oregon DUII Diversion program, it is always good to speak to an attorney about whether to ask for a contested hearing in front a judge. We have experience in getting clients into the DUII Diversion program over the DA’s objection. Call us today to discuss whether you are eligible for the DUII Diversion program and whether we can help you to enter it.
How long is the Oregon DUII Diversion Program?
The Oregon DUII Diversion program is automatically set to last for one year from the date that you enter the program. If you finish all of the requirements before one is year over, then the court will usually dismiss the charges against you without you having to appear in court again. If you do not receive notice that the case is dismissed, you should contact the court and ask them to dismiss it. Call us to discuss whether you need help in finishing the DUII Diversion program.
What if I don’t finish the DUII Diversion requirements within one year?
Oregon statutes allow you to ask for one extension of the DUII Diversion program if you are unable to complete the requirements within one year. In order to do this, you must contact the court and request the extension within the last 30 days of the original DUII Diversion program. In order for the court to grant the extension, you must show the court that you can finish all of the requirements within the extension period. The court then has the ability to extend the DUII Diversion program for 180 days (six months) from the date it was originally supposed to end. The court can only grant this once, and it cannot be for more than 180 days. We’re happy to help you to get this extension granted; contact us today.
What happens if I’m not successful in the Oregon DUII Diversion program?
There are many reasons that a person may be unable to complete the DUII Diversion program. Whether you are unsuccessful due to not being able to complete the requirements in time or because you are found to have violated one of the conditions of the Diversion program, the result is the same: the court will terminate you from the program and convict you of the underlying DUII offense. At that time you will be sentenced as if you never entered the DUII Diversion program. If you are accused of violating the DUII Diversion requirements, you will have the right to challenged this accusation at a hearing. Call us so we can help to defend you against these accusations.
What are my options when I am charged with DUII?
Most people who are charged with drunk driving in Oregon are arrested but then released and told to come back to court on a certain date. At that next court date you will find out exactly what you are charged with and will be given future court dates. You will then have the option of pleading guilty to the DUII charge at your next court date, or else you can ask the court to set your case for a trial. It’s extremely important to discuss your options with an attorney prior to taking any action in court. We are always happy to discuss the details of your case with you; call us today to set up an appointment.
Can I win if I take my DUII case to trial?
It’s impossible to say whether a person should go to trial without knowing the specific facts of the case. That being said, there are many reasons to take a drunk driving charge to trial even when it seems like the evidence against you is bad. Unlike many other crimes, DUII cases usually have predictable sentences that will be the same whether you plead guilty early or take the case to trial and lose. For that reason, there often isn’t anything to lose by going to trial and requiring the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of drunk driving.
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicant cases are complex and there are often ways to win the case even if the facts seem terrible. Because of the scientific nature of the Field Sobriety Tests and the Breathalyzer, the police must follow extremely strict guidelines when investigating someone for drunk driving. If the steps are not followed exactly, often the entire case falls apart for the prosecution. In addition, it is often possible to find experts who can testify that the state cannot prove that a person was above a certain limit at the time that they were actually driving. There are as many different ways to attack a drunk driving case as there are ways to get a drunk driving charge. Call us today to discuss whether we can help find a good strategy to win your Oregon DUII case.
Will the punishment get worse if I get arrested for drunk driving a second or third time?
The State of Oregon takes drunk driving very seriously and the punishment for DUII reflects that. As discussed above, the punishment for a first time DUII conviction requires at least two days of jail or 80 hours of community service, in addition to a hefty fine and a one year driver’s license suspension. If you are convicted of drunk driving in Oregon a second time, the punishment goes up quickly. For a second DUII conviction, the person will be punished with 30-60 days of jail, a larger fine, and a three year driver’s license suspension if the last DUII was within five years.
A third DUII conviction is even more serious. Under recent changes to the law, if you are convicted of drunk driving a third time within a certain time period, then it is a felony charge. A felony DUII will be punished by a minimum of 90 days in jail, but the person can be incarcerated for far longer. In addition, you license can be permanently revoked for a third drunk driving conviction.
Because the punishment for each DUII conviction gets so much worse each time, it is important to fight every drunk drive charge that you face. If you can avoid a first conviction, then you will not be facing the harsher penalty if you are accused of DUII again. Call us today to discuss how we can help you with your drunk driving case.
Will I lose my license if I’m arrested for DUII?
If you are convicted of DUII in Oregon, then your license will be suspended for at least one full year. If you get a second conviction within three years, your license will be suspended for three years. Your license can be revoked if you are convicted of a felony DUII in Oregon.
There are several ways that you driver’s license can be affected by getting arrested for drunk driving, even if you are never actually convicted of DUII. If you refuse to take a breath test after the police have determined that they think you are drunk, then your license will be suspended. If you fail a breath test, meaning that you blow a 0.08% BAC or highter, then your license will be suspended. There are several ways to have your license suspended when you are accused of drunk driving. It is important not to drive if your license has been suspended, as that can lead to more criminal charges. If you are unsure about whether your license is currently suspended, contact us so we can help you.
Can I fight my license suspension?
You always have the right to request a hearing with DMV to determine whether your license should be suspended, either for DUII conviction or for one of the many other ways that you can face license suspension for a drunk driving arrest. There are several specific things that the police must prove at that DMV hearing in order for your license to be suspended. Call us today to discuss how we can help you challenge your license suspension.
Will my license automatically be reinstated at the end of the suspension period?
No! It is crucial to follow the correct steps to have your license reinstated at the end of the suspension period for DUII or breath test refusal/failure. Even if the suspension period is over, if you haven’t gotten your license reinstated then you can still face criminal charges if you are caught driving. We are happy to help you through the process of reinstating your license; call us today.
Can I get a hardship permit during my license suspension?
Hardship permits are often available when your license has been suspended due to a DUII arrest. In Oregon, hardship permits allow a person to legally drive to and from work while their license is otherwise suspended. There is generally a waiting period before this can be obtained, and it usually requires a judge’s signature. Call us today to discuss whether you’re eligible for a hardship permit.
Can I get arrested for drunken bike riding?
Yes! Many people assume that it is okay to ride a bike home after drinking instead of driving their car. While it may be a bit safer, you can still be arrested for riding a bicycle while under the influence of intoxicants. Many of the same punishments exist. If you have been arrested for riding a bike while drunk, contact us today.
Can I get arrested for driving a boat while intoxicated?
Yes! Often referred to as BUII, it is possible to be arrested for Boating Under the Influence of Intoxicants. Call us today if you have been charged with BUII.