Taxi Driver’s Dangerous Drive Through Eugene Leads to DUII Arrest

Each day people drive intoxicated roughly 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are actually caught.  Taxi drivers are expected not be a part of those impaired drivers, and to abide by the rules of the road by driving as safely as possible.  An Oregon taxi driver, however, had a different idea.

According to The Register-Guard, a Eugene taxi driver drove extremely dangerously through the city, subsequently leading to a driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) arrest.

In early April, drivers and pedestrians lit up the Eugene 911 dispatch center as a taxi driver drove recklessly across the city.  Fred Brittan Zeiger, 33, of Eugene was reportedly swerving in and out of traffic, struck a median, and hit a parked vehicle before eventually being pulled over by the Eugene Police Department.

Zeiger was booked in the Lane County Jail on charges of DUII, reckless driving, and hit-and-run. Zeiger’s blood-alcohol (BAC) level was .29, more than three times the legal limit of .08.  No passengers were in the taxi at the time of the arrest.

For the majority of first time DUII offenders, they have the option of the DUII diversion program.  If they are not diversion eligible (for whatever reason), the minimum fine is $1,000 with a $255 conviction fee.  If the offender’s BAC was .15% or more, which it was in Zeiger’s case, the initial fine will be no less than $2,000.  In addition to the various fines associated with a DUII, all convicted drivers in the state of Oregon must also be sentenced to a minimum of 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service.  Further, they must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment.  A DUII attorney can provide legal assistance in the event of an arrest.

KVAL reports that Zeiger’s taxi certificate has been suspended with the intent to be fully revoked.

“Never had an instance of a driver driving under the influence,” said Jay Mayernik, general manager of Oregon Taxi.  “He had a clean background check and a clean driving record.  I don’t know if we could have seen this one coming in particular.”

Eugene Police added that Zeiger was recklessly driving for more than ten minutes.

“It’s sort of ironic,” added Mayernik.  “One of the reasons this company is out here is to cut down on drunk driving and help give people an option to have a safe ride home.”

A Few of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Oregon DUII Laws

Did you know that the average drunk driver has gotten behind the wheel almost 80 times before their first arrest? It’s pretty scary to think about, but if you’re not aware of current Oregon DUII laws, it can be even scarier.

It’s one thing to break the law, but it’s another not to understand the law, especially when it comes to driving under the influence of intoxicants.  So, to make sure you understand the basics of a DUII conviction in Oregon, here are some of the most frequently asked questions, answered for you.

What’s the difference between a DWI, DUI, and DUII?

To put it simply, there is no difference.  All of those abbreviations are variations of the same offense, which is driving under the influence of intoxicants. People frequently refer to it simply as DUI, DWI, or Drunk Driving, but the proper terminology is DUII.

What are the penalties for a DUII charge?

Penalties for this charge vary depending on what county and court you’re in.  If it’s a misdemeanor DUII, your maximum sentence would be up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.  The minimum fine starts at $1,000 and can be up to $6,250.  Jail, court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment, and other fines will also likely be penalties.

What should I do if I’m charged with DUII?

The first thing you need to do is find a DUII lawyer.  The more familiar your attorney is with this type of charge, the better.  The last thing you want is an attorney who doesn’t understand the charges against their client.  But above all else, do not waste any time after being charged.  These cases move quickly, and you need to do the same if you want to avoid as many penalties as possible.

Oregon Man Gets DUII Conviction Reversed After Wheelchair Ruling

Drunk driving remains a serious issue in the United States, and the dangers are even greater than many people realize. That’s because drivers who make the mistake of operating their motor vehicles after drinking alcohol don’t just make this irresponsible decision once or twice after a night of drinking. Sadly, an average drunk driver has been drunk behind the wheel roughly 80 times before their first arrest.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a chronic drunk driver. In an extremely unusual case, one Oregon man recently had his bizarre DUII conviction reversed.

In 2012, James Richard Greene was convicted on a DUII charge in Lincoln County after hitting the side of a truck. The only problem, however, is that Greene was not behind the wheel of a car or truck, he was operating a motorized wheelchair.

“We are persuaded that the dichotomy that pervades the vehicle code between pedestrians and operators of vehicles decisively evinces a legislative intention not to subject people in motorized wheelchairs to the DUII statutes when they are traveling as pedestrians in crosswalks,” wrote Judge Rex Armstrong representing the Oregon Court of Appeals.

According to Courthouse News, the Court of Appeals reversed Greene’s ruling and fully acquitted him.  “We conclude that a person using a motorized wheelchair under circumstances in which the person is a pedestrian for purposes of the vehicle code is not subject to the DUII statutes,” added Judge Armstrong.

Because DUII law is so complicated, it’s important for anyone involved in a DUII case to contact an experienced attorney who can help resolve such legal issues.

A DUII attorney can help with a DUII defense no matter the situation, whether you’re a wheelchair-operating first time offender or a repeat offender hoping to avoid jail time.

Although drunk driving is a very serious crime that can result in the loss of numerous innocent lives, everyone has a right to legal representation.  DUII cases can be complicated and difficult to maneuver, and if you aren’t getting proper legal counsel throughout the entire process, you run the risk of being improperly charged or unfairly sentenced.

Greene’s case is the perfect example of why it’s important to work with a DUII attorney in Oregon. Despite being charged and convicted in 2012, he was able to get his ruling reversed. Everyone should have that same chance.

Contact Jared Justice today if you’re in need of a Lake Oswego DUII attorney.

Oregon Assistant Football Coach Resigns Following DUII Arrest

Assistant coach David Reaves, who recently signed a 2-year/$300,000 deal with the Oregon Ducks football team, resigns following his late January arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Reaves is now facing punishment from the university.

“Reaves has been placed on administrative leave and the process to terminate his employment with cause has commenced,” said Rob Mullens, Oregon’s athletic director. “The University has high standards for the conduct of employees and is addressing this matter with the utmost of seriousness.”

According to USA Today, 38-year-old Reaves was hired a week before he was pulled over by the Eugene Police Department.

The State of Oregon prohibits any operation of a motor vehicle if the driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above.

Oregon Live reports that Reaves will be arranged on February 13 in Eugene Municipal Court on DUII, reckless driving, and reckless endangering charges. Police officers also stated that Reaves failed to drive within a lane, failed to obey a traffic control device, made an improper left turn, and refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Reaves’ incident is just a few weeks after another Oregon football coach, Irele Oderinde, the strength and conditioning coach, was suspended a month without pay. In addition to Oderinde and Reaves, many Duck players have been in trouble in recent years for intoxicated driving.

Because these DUII situations in Oregon are so dangerous and often complicated, working with a professional DUII attorney is recommended for anyone involved. It is essential to contact an experienced DUII law firm and talk to a DUII attorney in the event of an arrest.

If you’re in the Portland area and need legal assistance after a DUII arrest or any other serious legal matter, contact Jared Justice today.

First Time DUII Offender? Here is What You Need To Know

In Oregon, state law prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs to a noticeable and perceptible degree.  Even if you are at or below a .08 BAC, you are at risk of getting a DUII if you are impaired.  Knowing when to contact a Clackamas County attorney is extremely important to your DUII defense.

Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants is the term used in Oregon and can be complicated for people to understand. Consulting with an experienced Clackamas County attorney can help you understand what you need to know about your DUII charge.

Criminal DUII Penalty

When you are convicted of a DUII for the first time, the judge has to sentence you to either serve jail time (48 hours) or perform community service work (80 hours) at a minimum.  For a first conviction, a jail sentence typically ranges from two to five days. The judge can decide to sentence you to community service in lieu of jail time, but it must not be less than 80 hours of community service.  Often judges will not do this in Clackamas County without some sort of unusual or extraordinary circumstances.

The fines can end up significantly hurting your bank account, especially if you have made the mistake of committing a DUII for a second or third time. For the first conviction, not including a $255 conviction fee, the minimum fine is $1,000.

Keep in mind that if your blood alcohol concentration was .15% or more, the fine will be much higher.

DUII Diversion Program

If you are a first time offender of a DUII, you may qualify for Oregon’s DUII diversion program.  Participants in the program are required to either enter a plea of no contest or guilty to the initial charge, under the law.  Further, they are then required to complete an evaluation, treatment, and the Victim Impact Panel.  There are many other obligations that are conditions of diversion.  A person planning on entering the diversion program should always hire an experienced local attorney to make sure that they are well informed.

If you successfully complete the program within one year, your DUII case will be dismissed, with prejudice.  Keep in mind that more time may be granted to complete everything, if more time is needed.

Two Portland Timbers Arrested and Charged With DUII in Lake Oswego

This October in Oregon, star athletes Jacob Gleeson and Liam Ridgewell were arrested and charged with DUII.

Drunk driving is an epidemic across the entire country, as the average drunk driver gets behind the wheel intoxicated at least 80 times before they’re arrested.  When someone is charged with drunk driving, a DUII can carry serious consequences that can potentially ruin someone’s life for years, even decades, to come.  However, with the right DUII attorney, it’s possible to overcome an arrest and improve your life for the better.  That being said, we’ll have to wait and see how the two star players for the Portland Timbers handle their DUII charges in Lake Oswego Municipal Court.

According to KOIN, Ridewell and Gleeson, the Timbers’ captain and goalkeeper, were arrested in Lake Oswego around 11 p.m. near the intersection of Pilkington Road and Willow Court.  Gleeson crashed his BMW and called Ridewell to come and pick him up.  But when Ridgewell arrived, so did Lake Oswego Police, who suspected both athletes were impaired after administering field sobriety tests.  The two were taken to a Clackamas County jail at 3 a.m. and posted a $7,500 bail to secure their release later in the morning.

The DUII charges came just a few days after the Timbers lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps, which eliminated them from the 2016 playoffs.  Although Portland is out of the playoffs, the team still represents the two players and stated that they have been in “close contact with the players, local law enforcement, and the league office. The club will not have further comment until more information is available.”

In addition to DUII, Gleeson, a New Zealand native, could potentially face charges of reckless driving and reckless endangering.

After speaking with Oregon Live following the team’s victory over the Colorado Rapids, Gleeson, who spent last year on the bench as a backup, said he was motivated to get his team into the playoffs.  “We’re a team that has that fight at the end,” he stated.  “There’s no ‘we’ll get them next time.’ We’re coming to get that last playoff spot.”

Because of the social stigma surrounding drunk driving, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to suffer after a DUII arrest. And no matter who you are, it’s important to find a reputable Lake Oswego attorney to represent you after an arrest.

If you’re facing down a DUII charge, don’t hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney. Don’t fight your legal battle alone—contact Jared Justice to speak with an Oregon DUII attorney today.

 

What You Need to Know About Drunk Driving Penalties in Oregon

In Oregon, driving under the influence of alcohol or intoxicants is called a DUII and it is taken very seriously. If you are charged with this crime, you should always seek help from an experienced DUII lawyer who can assess your case and discuss your legal options.

As a general rule, every case in extremely different.  There is no way to explain every possible scenario or go into detail about all of the aspects regarding a DUII in one blog post.  For advice on any legal matter, you should always meet with an attorney in the privacy of their office.

Here is some what you need to know regarding a basic rundown of DUII penalties:

First Offense

  • Diversion. This is common for many people. It can easily be described as a “get out of jail free card”, or a “bite at the apple”.  The end result, if successfully completed, is that no conviction goes on your record.  There is much more information that a person who is diversion eligible needs to know. One should always speak with an attorney before making any decisions regarding their case.

Second Offense/First Conviction

  • Mandatory one-year license suspension;
  • Minimum of 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service;
  • Minimum fine of $1,000. If BAC is .15 or above, the minimum fine is $2,000;
  • Ignition interlock device installation for 12 months after license suspension ends;
  • Participation in a drug and alcohol program;
  • Participation in the Victim’s Impact Panel program;
  • There are also many other potential penalties that should be talked about with your attorney.

Third Offense/Second Conviction

  • Three-year license suspension if offense occurs within five years of previous DUII offense;
  • Minimum fine of $1,500 or more depending on your BAC;
  • Ignition interlock device installation for two years after the court suspension has ended;
  • Participation in drug and alcohol treatment;
  • Participation in Victim’s Impact Panel program;
  • There are also many other potential penalties that should be talked about with your attorney.

Fourth Offense/Third Conviction
If the third DUII conviction occurs within 10 years of the first and second, it is considered a class C felony.

  • Permanent revocation of license (regardless if it is within 10 years);
  • Substantial incarceration;
  • Minimum fine of $2,000;
  • Participation in drug and alcohol treatment;
  • Participation in Victim’s Impact Panel program;
  • There are also many other potential penalties that should be talked about with your attorney.

Defining DUII

You can be arrested for DUII if you are caught driving under the influence of any intoxicant.  Oregon has a limit .08 or higher (.04 for CDL), keep in mind that you can still be prosecuted for having a BAC below the legal limit, the prosecution just needs to prove that you were impaired to a noticeable and perceptible degree.  To determine your BAC, a police officer will administer a breathalyzer test, which measures the alcohol content in your breath.

To determine if your driving has been significantly impaired, the officer may administer a field sobriety test. During the test, you will be asked to complete a series of tasks, such as: standing on one foot, walking in a straight line, and following a light with your eyes.
If the officer suspects that your BAC is over .08, he or she may take you back to the police station to administer the breathalyzer, blood, or urine test there.
DUII attorneys are an excellent resource if you are in trouble with the law or if you simply want to know more about Oregon’s drinking and driving policies. If you or a loved one need assistance in a DUII case, call an attorney today.

What you need to know about driving with a suspended license

In Oregon, driving with a suspended driver’s license is a serious offense that can result in large fines, jail time, and/or prison. If you are arrested for driving while suspended, or any other reason, you should consult with a criminal law firm and get in contact with a criminal defense attorney right away.

A suspended license can seriously disrupt a person’s life, making it difficult to get to work, manage social relationships, go grocery shopping, or even take your kids to school. Sometimes, the temptation to get back behind the wheel is too strong, that’s why it’s important for all Oregon drivers to know how to avoid getting suspended. Here are some convictions that could lead to the suspension or revocation of your license:

  • Some drug and alcohol charges will lead to a driver’s license suspension.
  • Criminal mischief involving your vehicle.
  • If you steal gas from another vehicle or gas station.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Driving recklessly, as well as many other serious crimes involving your vehicle.

In many cases, a class A traffic violation will be issued to the offending driver. Although these violations can get quite pricey, as the maximum fine for a class A violation is $720, there is no possibility of jail time for this type of violation, or any other violation for that matter.

There are two other circumstances, however, that are far worse than a violation: these are misdemeanor driving while suspended and felony driving while suspended.

Misdemeanor Charges

If you were driving and caught doing any of the following, then you may be charged with a crime that could result in a license suspension.

  • If you were driving recklessly, charged with menacing, or criminal mischief involving a motor vehicle.
  • If you made any false statements to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • If you fled the scene or evaded police.
  • If you are a habitual traffic offender.

As far as class A misdemeanor charges are concerned, the maximum penalty is up to one year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $6,250.

Felony Charges

For much more serious crimes, defendants can face a felony conviction that could involve up to 10 years in prison (this is subject to Oregon’s sentencing guidelines). You may be convicted of a Class B felony if your license was suspended or revoked due to certain circumstances, for example:

  • If, as a result of your driving, you were convicted of criminally negligent homicide, assault II or III, manslaughter, or murder.
  • In extreme circumstances, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in felony DUII charges. In Oregon, the state prohibits the operation of an automobile by a driver with a 0.08% or more blood alcohol content (BAC). A driving while suspended in this circumstance can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on your particular circumstances.

Make sure to consult with a DUII attorney or any other experienced criminal defense attorney if you’re involved in any of these situations. The stigma associated with a criminal conviction is high, and so are the legal consequences. Without legal representation, a suspended driver’s license might soon be the least of your problems.

The most important thing you can do as a driver in Oregon is to actually abide by the rules and laws of the road. Of course, mistakes happen, so if you are in legal trouble, you should always contact an experienced criminal defense attorney near you as soon as possible.

It should also be noted that everyone’s situation is different, laws change, and every court has different practices.  Further, criminal law is extremely complicated and is consistently evolving.  For help with any legal problem, someone should always consult with an experienced attorney.

Uber Hopes Legislation Passes Allowing Statewide Use in Oregon

Uber is asking the Oregon Legislature to pass regulations that would allow the ride-hailing app to be used statewide. During the first week of August, Uber met with The Oregonian and OregonLive’s board to discuss statewide use of the service.

Representative Brian Clem and Senator Chris Edwards plan on pushing the laws through their respective chambers. Throughout Oregon, Uber and their rival company Lyft are currently only available in the Portland area. Uber was recently in Eugene and Salem, but had to leave both cities because of unfavorable city regulations and a low number of users. Uber and state lawmakers hope these new laws could improve unfavorable local regulations and have Uber’s drivers work as independent contractors, not as employees of Uber.

“Right now, you’d have to come under our taxicab rules,” said City Attorney Mary Winters. “But if they came to the city and said they wanted some other rules we’d have to have a discussion and look at what other cities have done. If they come to us and there’s a market and the community wants them, the City Council would decide whether to direct our legal department to do more research and to look at a different process.”

According to The Register-Guard, taxi companies are not as welcoming to the ride-sharing services. “Transportation is really big here,” said Randy Mahaney, owner of Taxis of Bend, “and I don’t foresee the need for Uber or Lyft being that there are seven taxi companies, two town car companies and buses.”

Taxi services may not be looking forward to statewide Uber usage, but many Oregon residents are excited for the opportunity. Although a number of controversies have surrounded ride sharing services like Uber, the service remains widely used in major cities across the country. And added convenience isn’t the only reason some lawmakers want Uber and Lyft to come to town.

Many people are hopeful the ride-sharing apps arrive in their cities to potentially lower the amount of drunk drivers on the road. These drug and alcohol related accidents still disrupt lives on a daily basis. If you’ve been involved in any sort of drunk driving crash in Oregon, you should contact an experienced criminal law firm and speak with a DUII attorney right away.

Drunk driving is still an epidemic in the United States. Every day, more than 300,000 people drive drunk, but less than 4,000 are arrested. That’s disturbing, because the average drunk driver has driven drunk nearly 80 times before they are caught and arrested. In Oregon, the legal blood alcohol limit a driver must not exceed is 0.08%, a low bar that’s crossed far too often.

If you’re in need of a DUII attorney, contact our experienced criminal law firm as soon as possible.