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.