Although most of us know that we should never drink and drive, the truth is that it happens more frequently than you might think. In fact, the average drunk driver has operated a vehicle while intoxicated around 80 times before they’re ever arrested. That’s a scary statistic, considering the damage that drivers under the influence of alcohol could potentially do. But, being arrested on suspicion of a DUII can also be quite frightening. Even if it’s your first time ever being arrested, this criminal act can have serious consequences. That’s why it’s essential for anyone facing a DUII allegation to have experienced legal help during this time. Below, we’ve outlined a bit about what you can expect after your first DUII arrest.
Following a roadside stop and sobriety tests, you may be arrested
If an officer pulls you over and suspects you’re driving under the influence of alcohol (or illicit drugs), they will likely ask you some questions and ask you to submit to field sobriety tests. In Oregon, it is unlawful to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or above. There’s some conjecture as to whether you should submit to these field sobriety tests or politely refuse; not every DUI attorney agrees as to the best source of action. But the fact is that an officer can arrest you either way if they feel there’s probable cause to arrest you for a DUII.
Regardless of whether you’re convicted, you will face administrative penalties
With most types of crimes, you likely won’t expect immediate consequences before you ever get to court. But a DUII arrest is a bit different in this regard. For one thing, Oregon has an implied consent law. This means that your refusal to comply with a blood or breath test after you’re arrested will come with automatic penalties such as a license suspension, fines, and other potential consequences. In addition, such consequences will likely occur (to varying degrees) if you do submit to testing and are found to have a BAC level higher than what’s legally allowed.
If you do end up with a DUII conviction following your arrest, these administrative penalties will be more severe. In Oregon, a DUII conviction carries a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. After this period ends, you will need to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year and will likely need to undergo substance abuse treatment. But of course, these are not the only consequences you’ll face if you’re convicted.
If found guilty, you will have to perform community service or serve jail time
In addition to your license suspension and substance abuse treatment, you’ll have to pay at least $1,000 in fines and will have to spend at least 48 hours in jail OR perform 80 hours of community service. You may also be subject to probation for up to five years after your conviction.
However, you may be able to avoid a conviction through a diversion program
In Oregon, first-time DUII offenders will usually qualify for a diversion program. Completing this program will allow the offender’s case to be dismissed after one year’s time. The program is essentially a one-year agreement that will require the driver to complete a substance abuse program, refrain from alcohol or drug use, attend a victim impact panel, and install an ignition interlock device. The program and its related requirements do come with their own fees, but this is typically the best route to take if you are eligible. Your DUI attorney can further advise you on this possibility.
We hope that this post has answered some questions you may have had about being arrested for a DUII for the first time. But even more importantly, we hope this has shown why it’s so imperative to contact a reputable DUII attorney in your area if you are arrested for such a crime. For more information, please contact our DUI law firm today.