When it comes to DUII charges, many individuals receive misinformation due to the tendency to believe whatever we’ve seen online or on TV. These half-truths can lead to a serious misunderstanding that effects how people view the crime. To combat the most common myths about DUII, we’ve listed five misconceptions and explain the truths behind them.
Common Misconceptions About DUII In Oregon
Myth #1: A DUII charge means you’re automatically guilty
The argument refuting this myth is pretty simple—United States citizens are all innocent until proven guilty. Not all DUII arrests are the same, and it’s not unheard of for police to make arbitrary arrests; some people who receive an arrest for DUIIs are actually innocent due to feeble police observation or faulty chemical tests.
Truth #1: To convict someone of a DUII, it must be legally proven that the driver was intoxicated.
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Myth #2: A drunk driving charge isn’t as severe as driving under the influence of drugs
The truth is, Oregon does not have a separate charge for drinking while driving and driving while on drugs. In both circumstances, police will charge the person performing either of these acts as driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). If a lab can prove that an intoxicant of some form was in the blood, then the court may find the driver guilty.
Truth #2: It is just as bad of a conviction to drive while under the influence of drugs.
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Myth #3: Anyone can participate in the DUII Diversion Program
Oregon has a DUII Diversion Program for individuals who plead guilty to their DUII charge. However, to opt for the diversion program, individuals will need to meet several requirements. First-time offenders can often participate, but this is not the case for everyone.
Truth #3: If you received a DUII conviction in the past, have been in the program in the last 15 years, or the offense resulted in death or injury of another, you cannot participate.
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Myth #4: A DUII is not a big deal
This misconception is far from the truth. A DUII is not as bad as first-degree murder, but it still taints your record. Oregon specifically takes DUIIs quite seriously—convictions will often result in fines, license suspensions, and sometimes jail time. In fact, although a DUII will drop off your driving record after 3–7 years, “the infraction will likely remain on your criminal record forever.”
Truth #4: A DUII in Oregon comes with many consequences—significant fines, license suspension, and perhaps jail time.
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Myth #5: Any attorney can defend a DUII charge
DUII law can be quite specific, and it’s important to choose someone who knows what they’re doing in these situations. Unlike assault, a DUII conviction could be a potentially lifelong charge affecting an individual’s mobility, future employment, and insurance. Don’t try and take your DUII defense in your own hands or let a family friend tax attorney represent you in court—choose a reputable Clackamas County DUII lawyer.