DUI vs DUII and DUI DIversion

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What Is The Difference Between DUI And DUII In Oregon?

Oregon’s legal approach to impaired driving sets it apart from other states. If you’re caught driving under the influence in Oregon, you’ll be charged with a DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants) under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 813.010, not DUI or DWI. It’s worth noting that the term “drunk driving” is colloquially used, but legally speaking, impaired driving encompasses a broader range of substances beyond alcohol, including various intoxicants.

Clackamas County DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer | Lake Oswego, Oregon City Attorney

What Does “Under The Influence” Mean In Oregon?

In Oregon, DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants) carries significant legal weight. The state’s strict definition of DUII encompasses any form of impaired driving, regardless of the substance involved. While substances like alcohol or prescription medications may be lawful individually, Oregon’s DUII laws specifically address their use while driving.

According to the law, a DUII charge can be triggered with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, regardless of whether driving ability was impaired or not. Moreover, a DUII charge can also apply if a person’s blood alcohol concentration is zero, but their physical or mental abilities are noticeably impaired due to drugs or alcohol. In prioritizing road safety, Oregon’s approach underscores the significance of responsible and unimpaired driving.

When driving in Oregon, it is essential to be aware that operating a motor vehicle implies your implicit consent to undergo a chemical test, which examines the presence of drugs or alcohol in your bloodstream. These tests may include breath, urine, or blood examinations, and failing or refusing them may lead to the suspension of your driving license. Oregon’s DUII laws are very serious.
For individuals facing a first-time offense, a conviction is categorized as a misdemeanor, subjecting them to potential fines, license suspension, probation, jail time, community service, and mandatory educational classes. As offenses accumulate, penalties and fines escalate, and individuals with at least two convictions within the last ten years could be charged with felony DUII. Felony DUII convictions carry more severe consequences, such as imprisonment, significantly higher fines, and the establishment of a permanent criminal record, which can significantly impact their future livelihood.
The Oregon DUII Diversion Program stands as a commendable initiative for first-time DUII offenders, offering them a path towards rehabilitation and the opportunity to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUII conviction.

The program’s foundation lies in the principle of providing a second chance to those who have made a mistake while driving under the influence of intoxicants. By participating in the program and successfully completing the court-ordered requirements, individuals can have their DUII charge dismissed, thereby avoiding the stigma of a criminal record. Such a second chance fosters a sense of hope and encourages responsible behavior on the road.

The program structure typically encompasses various components, including educational courses, treatment programs, probation, and other conditions tailored to the individual’s situation. These requirements aim to address the root causes of impaired driving and promote long-term behavioral change.

Throughout Oregon, the Oregon DUII Diversion Program requires most persons accused of DUII to accomplish the following during the diversion period of 364 days:

  • Appear before a judge in the court where the person is accused of DUII;
  • Plead guilty or no-contest to the charged Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants;
  • Complete a substance abuse evaluation from the local Alcohol and Drug Evaluation Service (ADES);
  • Follow through with any treatment recommended by the local ADES;
  • Not use or possess any alcohol or controlled substances (unless validly prescribed);
  • Pay $490 to the court wherein the DUII is charged
  • Not drive a vehicle unless the vehicle has an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle
  • Complete a Victim’s Impact Panel Class
If the person participating in the DUII Diversion Program successfully completes the above-mentioned list of obligations, the DUII charged will be dismissed. The person avoids the following:

  • A non-expungable conviction for DUII
  • $1000 fine
  • At least 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service
  • A one-year driver’s license suspension
While the Oregon DUII Diversion Program can be an effective option for eligible offenders, it is crucial to remember that it is generally available to first-time DUII offenders. Repeat offenders or individuals involved in severe DUII incidents may not be eligible for the program. Persons with a commercial driver’s license are not eligible for the DUII Diversion Program.
Clackamas County DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer | Lake Oswego, Oregon City Attorney

Do I Need Help To Enter Into The DUII Diversion Program?

The Oregon DUII Diversion Program is a valuable initiative that exemplifies the state’s commitment to road safety and rehabilitation. However, it is essential for those facing DUII charges to seek guidance from legal professionals and understand the specific eligibility criteria and program requirements to make an informed decision regarding their best course of action. As noted above, a court appearance is necessary in front of a judge and the DUII Diversion Program requires a lot of paperwork to petition the Court to enter the program. Once in the program, the Court and ADES will monitor you as you complete a number of obligations; tasks that can be overwhelming and easily failed without the help of an experienced DUII Trial attorney.

During this difficult period, having an attorney to offer guidance and support is vital. Rhett Bernstein brings extensive experience as a DUI prosecutor, elected criminal court judge, and DUII trial lawyer, representing clients in various courts throughout Oregon. If you have any questions concerning your situation, do not hesitate to get in touch—contact attorney Rhett Bernstein today.

Legal Disclaimer: Nothing on this site shall be taken as legal advice. For advice on a legal matter, contact attorney Rhett Bernstein immediately for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation.

Criminal Defense attorney Rhett Bernstein is available to practice criminal law anywhere throughout the state of Oregon, including: Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties; as well as most municipal courts throughout the Portland Metro area.