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4 penalties associated with DUII convictions in Oregon

Oregon hands down some severe sentences for people who have been convicted of drunk driving.

Someone facing a charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants in Oregon may understandably have concerns about his or her future. The state takes the crime very seriously and has outlined a variety of sentences that could be handed down in the event of a conviction. Those sentences could include the following:

1. Jail time

In Oregon, the first and second DUII offenses are typically considered misdemeanors unless there are any aggravating factors present. In these situations, jail time is often just 48 hours but could be up to one year, depending on the circumstances.

A third offense in 10 years will be charged as a felony, as could any incident in which a drunk driver causes an accident that leads to serious bodily injury or the death of another person. Convictions of these crimes can result in one year or up to five years in prison.

2. Fines

According to the law, the state may impose the following fines:

  • A minimum $1,000 for a first DUII conviction
  • A minimum $1,500 for a second DUII conviction
  • A minimum $2,000 for a third or subsequent conviction if the defendant has not been sentenced to prison

Lastly, someone with a 0.15 blood alcohol concentration or higher could face a fine of at least $2,000. The law states that there is a $10,000 cap on the amount of fines someone could face if, while driving under the influence, the person had a passenger younger than 18 who is at least three years younger than the driver.

3. License suspension

License suspension is one penalty that will be assessed for anyone convicted of drunk driving, as the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles notes. The length of time a license is suspended depends on the charge. For example, someone who is simply arrested for failing a breath test could face a 90-day suspension, and refusing a breath test will result in a mandatory one-year suspension.

Upon conviction, a first offender may face a one-year suspension, a second offender could have his or her license suspended for three years and someone with three or more DUII convictions may lose it permanently.

Oregon does, however, participate in the ignition interlock program. This could enable someone with a suspended license to continue to drive with a restricted license.

4. Drug treatment

In order to get a driver's license back, the Oregon DMV requires someone convicted of a DUII to obtain a certificate that illustrates that he or she completed a drug treatment program. It is also possible that a court makes treatment a mandatory part of the sentencing.

These consequences can be harsh, even for a first-time offender. Oregon does offer a DUII diversion program for those who have never been charged with the crime. This program will dismiss the charges after one year granted that the defendant pays fees, participates in drug treatment and follows several other guidelines. People wishing to learn more about their options when facing a DUII charge should seek the help of an attorney.