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Abby Wambach arrested for DUII in Portland

U.S. Olympic soccer star Abby Wambach’s DUII arrest in Portland, Oregon, is yet another example of how anyone can be in this situation.

Over the years, the term "drunk driving" has grown to develop quite a negative connotation. Along with that connotation is a stereotype of who gets arrested for drunk driving. The recent arrest in downtown Portland is a good reminder to people in Oregon and southwest Washington that the common stereotype is wrong.

Drunk driving is the "everyday person's" offense

CNN explains that in addition to soccer star Abby Wambach, DUII courtrooms are commonly filled with professionals such as health care workers, educators, business executives and even lawyers. It may just be that few people talk about it in the manner that Ms. Wambach is. Driving after having a drink or two is so common. Even the advertisement tagline "drink responsibly" indicates that this is acceptable. The only time it becomes not acceptable is when a person is determined to be impaired. This determination can even happen at the subjective opinion of a police officer.

Soccer player making DUII a lesson to others

Within just a couple of days of her arrest, the Olympic soccer player appeared in court in Multnomah County. According to the Washington Post, she entered a guilty plea to the charge of driving while under the influence of intoxicants. She also agreed to participate in Oregon's diversion program. For one year, she will have to use an ignition interlock device in her vehicle, attend courses and abide by all other required stipulations of the program.

In the meantime, she is using her drunk driving arrest in a very public way. In a recent visit with students at Georgetown University, the athlete took responsibility for her actions and encouraged the crowd to learn from her mistakes. American Soccer Now indicates that she did much the same thing at the University of Arkansas.

Diversion not for everyone in Oregon

While the soccer player was able to be approved to participate in Oregon's diversion program, not everyone arrested on DUII charges can do so. The Multnomah County District Attorney outlines that there are very stringent criteria to meet in order to be approved for diversion.

A person arrested for a DUII after an accident that resulted in death or injury would not be eligible. Neither would a defendant with a prior DUII offense or participation in diversion for the previous 15 years. Even participation in a similar program in another state may disqualify a person from Oregon's diversion program. Persons with commercial drivers' licenses also cannot opt for diversion.

Getting help is important

Despite the fact that many good and responsible people get DUIIs, it is nonetheless a serious offense and the consequences of having a criminal conviction on record can be long-lasting. For this reason, working with an attorney is always recommended.