Drunk driving is a far too common occurrence on today’s roads. Shockingly, the average drunk driver has operated a vehicle under the influence 80 times before they’re ever arrested. But that doesn’t mean making the decision to drive drunk won’t come with consequences. Police departments are cracking down on this issue all across the country — so whether it’s your first time or your 50th time getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, you’ll have to deal with some massive ramifications if you are arrested.
In Oregon, there are certain penalties you’ll incur if you’re arrested for drunk driving, which may still apply even if you aren’t convicted. And if you doend up with a DUII conviction on your record, the consequences will be even more severe (particularly if you’ve been convicted of DUII charges before). For these reasons alone, hiring a DUII lawyer becomes essential. While even the best DUII attorneys may not be able to have the charges against you dropped completely, having reputable legal representation will increase your chances of a more positive outcome.
What are the penalties for DUII arrests and convictions in Oregon?
- License Suspension/Revocation: Oregon has what are known as implied consent laws, meaning that refusing to take a breath or blood test upon your arrest will actually have the same outcome as failing these tests — a driver’s license suspension. Your license may be suspended for 90 days or up to three years simply due to your arrest and your failure or refusal to take the test. If you are subsequently convicted for a DUII, your license will be suspended for at least a year; it can even be revoked permanently if this is your third DUII conviction.
- Ignition Interlock Installation: If you apply for a hardship permit (i.e., an exception to your license suspension that could allow you to drive to work and to drug/alcohol treatment) or once your suspension period is up, you’ll be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The period for this installation will be determined by the severity of your crime; for example, a first-time offender will have to keep an IID in their car for a year following the one-year license suspension period, while a second-time offender will need an IID in their vehicle for two years once their three-year license suspension period is up. This device will require the driver to pass a BAC test each time they drive to ensure compliance.
- Fines, Fees, and/or Restitution: If you’re convicted of a DUII, you’ll have to pay substantial fines. At a minimum, this fine will be $1,000 — but fines may be as high as $10,000. In addition, you’ll have to pay fees to the court system (including the costs associated with IID installation and maintenance). And if you damaged any property or caused any injuries as a result of your drunk driving, the court may force you to pay restitution as part of your sentencing.
- Jail Time, Community Service, or Prison: First-time DUII offenders will typically be sentenced to either 80 days of community service or jail time, which can range from a couple of days to an entire year. Those who are convicted of multiple DUII offenses may face anywhere from 10 to 180 days in jail. In general, probationary periods can last for up to three years, during which other regulations must be met. Those who commit a felony DUII may face 13 to 60 months in prison, which makes hiring a DUII lawyer a must.
- Drug/Alcohol Treatment and Victim Impact Panel: If you are convicted of a DUII, you will be required to participate in (and pay for) a drug and alcohol treatment program. You could potentially be eligible for a DUII diversion program in lieu of a conviction, which also involves a treatment program. You will also have to pay for and partake in a victim impact panel to understand how accidents involving drunk drivers have devastated victims and their families.
With the serious legal and financial penalties that come with DUII arrests and convictions, it’s clear that hiring a DUII lawyer for your case is vital. To find out about hiring a DUII lawyer for yourself or for a loved one, please contact us today.