As a parent, you want the best for your children. You were a teenager at one point yourself; you understand the situations teens must navigate. So, when your child calls in the middle of the night from the county jail with an underage DUI conviction, you will do everything you can to protect them and their future.

Understanding Oregon’s underage DUI laws can help you and your family secure legal help and build a strong defense. Several legal avenues exist to help young people recover from their mistakes and build successful, upstanding lives.

The basics of an Oregon DUI

Like every state in the U.S., Oregon sets a legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08 for drivers. Exceeding this limit will result in an arrest alongside several administrative and criminal penalties. Oregon considers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as “driving under the influence of intoxicants,” a DUII crime. Drivers are considered “under the influence” if their “physical or mental facilities are adversely affected to a noticeable or perceptible degree.” This statute means that law enforcement can use their discretion when determining one’s capability to drive.

Like most states, Oregon supports a “zero tolerance” policy for those under 21. Even a low BAC will incur a DUII charge.

Penalties for a DUII

First-time offenders face the following minimum penalties, whether underage or not:

  • One-year license suspension
  • One year on an ignition interlock device (IID) after the suspension
  • $1,000 in fines
  • Two days in jail or 80 hours of community service
  • Completion of alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment programs
  • Attend a victim impact panel

Multiple DUIs will result in increased penalties and fines.

Most underage offenders can participate in the state’s DUII diversion program instead of traditional sentencing. Experts will design the program to fit each case, including required conditions, fees, treatments, and preventative measures uniquely positioned to help your child recover. Completing this program will allow the courts to dismiss the DUII charge, clearing a person’s record.

Consider hiring legal help to fight for your child

The best way to combat a DUII charge and secure a dismissal is alongside a local attorney familiar with Oregon’s DUI and criminal laws. A lawyer can assess your case for discrepancies, represent your interests in court and work with the judge to secure a path toward restitution.