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An Update to the DUII Laws in Oregon

While Oregon State Police reported a decrease in DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants) arrests between December 31, 2009, and January 1, 2010, from 52 DUII arrests made the same time last year to 34 DUII arrests throughout the state during this year's period of time; the legislature has enacted changes to the Oregon DUII laws which go into effect on January 1, 2010. January 1, 2010, juvenile convictions for DUII / DUI will be counted as one of the three "predicate offenses" for convictions of DUII's in 10 years constituting a Felony DUII. The exception to this rule is if the juvenile's BAC was under .08 and the conviction was based solely upon the fact that the juvenile was under 21 years of age when the offense occurred. What is significant about this new law is that all cases involving juvenile persons accused of traffic crimes will be transferred to the adult court.

Are you facing a DUI charge in Oregon? Call Imhoff & Associates, PC, today at (800) 887-0000 or contact us online to meet with one of our experienced attorneys!

Bellingham Portland, Oregon Arrests for DUI
An illustration of how frequently juveniles and others are arrested for DUI and DUII is the following three cases during the first two weeks of January 2010. The Bellingham, Oregon police reported the arrest of a 19-year-old male for DUI, MIP (minor in possession of alcohol), and DWLS 3rd (driving with license suspended) on January 3, 2010, at 4:15 a.m. An arrest of a 24-year-old male was reported on January 4, 2010, for driving under the influence. Also, there was a report of the arrest of a 22-year-old woman for DUI and DWLS 3rd on January 10, 2010, at a traffic stop. As noted by the charges in two of the cases, said persons were driving with suspended licenses.

Under Oregon Statutes ORS 811.182 (1) & (4), persons who drive their motor vehicle knowing their license is suspended or revoked for a misdemeanor or felony crimes involving a motor vehicle can be charged with a Misdemeanor Driving While Suspended. Each conviction for Misdemeanor Driving While Suspended is counted towards the habitual offender law, resulting in an Oregon driver's license revocation. Misdemeanor Driving While Suspended is considered a Class A Misdemeanor with a one-year maximum jail sentence and a maximum fine of $6,250.

If convicted, these persons referred to in the above cases could also face a minimum fine of $2,000 under the new law Oregon law HB 2426, which provides for such a fine when a person is convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.15 or more. Also new is ORS 813.095 -Failure to Submit to a Urine Test which goes into effect January 1, 2010. Under this law, if you are pulled over for drunk driving, and you fail to take a urine test under the Oregon Implied Consent Laws, you will be charged under the new law for failure to submit to a urine test and subject to a fine between $500 and $1,000. Your license will not be suspended under this law, but it will be suspended for refusing to take a breath, blood, or urine test under the Oregon Implied Consent Laws for up to 1-3 years.

What are the Penalties for a DUII in Oregon?

Oregon laws provide for stiff fines, penalties, and jail time for all offenders of DUI and DUII laws. Typical sentences and fines are as follows:

• The maximum penalty for a first conviction for misdemeanor DUII is one year in jail with a fine of $1,000 fine or a $2,000 if the BAC is .15 or more and an additional fine up to $6,250 or $10,000 if there was a minor in the vehicle under 18, 18 months probation, mandatory participation in a substance abuse evaluation and treatment and a mandatory one year driver's license suspension as well as mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system for one year.

• A second DUI conviction leads to a three-year license suspension, a $1,500 fine or a $2,000 fine if the person's BAC is .15 or more, and a one-year jail sentence as well as an additional $10,000 fine if a minor under 18 was in the vehicle, additional fees and fines of approximately $300, attendance of an alcohol rehabilitation program and an ignition interlock device must be installed for two years after the return of the person's driver's license.

• Three DUII convictions within ten years is considered a Class C Felony Offense with up to a five-year prison sentence, a $2,000 fine if the person's BAC is .15 or more, and an additional $10,000 fine if a minor under 18 in the vehicle at the time, permanent revocation of license for life, completion of a drug and alcohol treatment program and participation in a citizen's impact panel program.

Usually, Multnomah County DA's recommend 10 – 30 days of jail for a first conviction. 20 to 60 days of jail for a second conviction, 90 to 365 days of jail for a third conviction, 180 to 365 days for a fourth or more DUII conviction. Recommendations vary depending upon the case circumstances and the person's number of convictions. Other Oregon counties are comparative in their sentencing. Persons arrested for DUI or Felony DUII must request a hearing within ten days of being charged to contest the charges and take advantage of the opportunity to have their case overturned. Otherwise, suspended driver's license sentences will remain in effect. It is important to seek legal representation from an Oregon criminal defense firm as soon as you have been arrested for DUI or Felony DUII, who can help defend you at the hearing and assist you with keeping your driving privileges. License suspensions are often dismissed because police officers fail to show up at the hearings, or law enforcement makes administrative errors or fails to prepare or turn in the proper paperwork within the required deadlines. Without appropriate legal representation looking out for your interests and raising legal defenses on your behalf, you may jeopardize your rights or miss the opportunity to overturn your case.

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Our highly skilled attorneys will fight to protect your rights. Understanding and using the latest case law in your defense can mean the difference between getting your case dismissed and spending years in prison.

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