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New DUI laws proposed in Oregon

Each year, legislators across the country are confronted with issues that need to be resolved by drafting new laws. Certain trends may arise that jeopardize the health and safety of residents, and often existing laws are not designed to address these concerns. Many of these laws create new or enhanced penalties to show that the issue is being taken seriously.

Legislators in Oregon are currently considering two bills connected to driving under the influence. The first bill wants to change the ignition interlock law in the state, and the second would expand the list of substances that are listed in DUI laws.

In Oregon, nearly anyone convicted of a DUI will be required to install an ignition interlock device. These devices check a driver's breath for the presence of alcohol. If alcohol is detected, the motorist's vehicle will not start. Drivers may be subject to random tests while the vehicle is in operation as well.

The individual is responsible for all of the fees associated with the device, which include installation and the monthly monitoring charges. This can be quite costly for those who have recently lost their license, and the new bill would raise the costs that these motorists are facing.

The current ignition interlock device laws allow those convicted to forego installation while their licenses are suspended. Only when a license is reinstated will drivers need to have an ignition interlock in place. If those convicted wait until the ignition interlock requirements expire before applying for their license, they will not have to use the devices once their licenses are reinstated. In the proposed law, the time period for the interlock requirements would not start until the driver has once again received his or her license.

The second bill concerns the substances covered by the DUI laws that are currently in effect. In Oregon, individuals can be convicted of a DUI if they are under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or inhalants. The proposed changes would add prescription medications and synthetic drugs as substances that could lead to DUI charges.

If you are accused of driving under the influence, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. You may not understand the consequences that may result if you are convicted. The penalties can include the loss of a driver's license, as well as high fines and jail time. You may want to plead guilty to get the matter over with, but this could have a serious impact upon your life in the future. Any other convictions will only increase the potential punishments that could be handed down for later convictions.