In the state of Oregon, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle is your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .08%. But even a basic knowledge of DUII law doesn’t always stop motorists from getting behind the wheel when they’ve had a few too many. If you’re worried about what might happen if you’re pulled over for drunk driving, you probably should be. Despite what you might think, a DUII allegation and subsequent conviction can have massive ramifications on your life as you know it. Here’s what you can expect if you are pulled over and charged with a DUII.
- Arrest: If you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUII and law enforcement believes they have enough information to arrest you (e.g., if you have submitted to and failed a field sobriety or breathalyzer test), they will charge you with this crime. You will be placed into a police vehicle and transported to the police station, at which time you will be booked. Your mugshot and fingerprints will be taken at this time. In Oregon, you may be released on your own recognizance or you may be asked to post bail or security prior to being released.
- Court Appearance: When you’re arrested, you’ll be given a ticket or a summons that informs you of when you will need to appear in court to face your charges. You will have to plead innocent or guilty of the charges being brought against you, which is why it’s essential to have help from a DUII lawyer during this time. Your attorney can ensure your rights are protected and that all legal options are explored. For example, your DUII lawyer may be able to negotiate the terms of your conviction so that your participation in a DUII diversion program may eliminate the need for a jail sentence.
- License Suspension: Even prior to your court appearance, you may have to deal with a suspension of your driver’s license. And if you are convicted, your license will be suspended for a longer period of time. In some cases, you may be able to obtain permission to drive to work or school. But you driving privileges will be, at the very least, severely restricted.
- Fine or Program Payment: If you’re convicted of a DUII or participate in a DUII diversion program, you’ll be held responsible for paying certain fines and fees. The amount you’re required to pay can be increased if your crime involved property damage, injuries, or other extenuating circumstances. Diversion programs also require you to pay for your own participation, which can include drug and alcohol counseling, victim impact panels, ignition interlock installation, and more.
- Probation, Diversion, or Jail: The way in which you’ll serve your time will depend on the severity of your crime, past criminal records, and more. If you do not qualify for diversion or your DUII lawyer feels it’s not the right route for you to take, you may be sentenced to probation or jail time. If you are able to bypass jail time, it’s essential that you follow all terms of your probation or diversion program.
- Other Issues: The legal system itself can present a lot of hurdles for those who choose to drink and drive. If you’re convicted of a crime like this, it doesn’t necessarily mean your future is in jeopardy. But it does mean that your professional and personal situations may become more difficult as a result. You may be forced to pay higher auto insurance premiums or be dropped by your insurer altogether. You may face social stigmas or be fired from your job due to ethics clauses or criminal background checks. You could risk your ability to support your family or they may choose not to stand by you as a result of your arrest.
Your DUII lawyer will fight to the best of their ability to secure a positive outcome after your arrest. But keep in mind how much you have to lose if you drive while intoxicated. If you are facing DUII allegations, we’re here to help. For more information, contact us today.