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Oregon law cuts a DUII driver a break if it is their first drunk driving offense by allowing them to enter into the diversion program.
You are diversion eligible under ORS 813.215 if (1) you have not had a DUII or DUII diversion (or similar drug or alcohol program) in the last 15 years (10 years if arrest was prior to January 1, 2010); (2) your DUII didn’t involve an accident where someone (other than you) was injured; (3) you don’t have a commercial driver’s license; and (3) you otherwise qualify under the statute. If this is your second diversion, you must qualify as above and you must have been convicted of any other criminal offense involving a motor vehicle in the last 15 years (e.g., Reckless Driving, Assault, Criminal Mischief, etc.).
If you don’t think you qualify, click here. A controlled substances DUII is still eligible for DUII.
To enter into the Oregon diversion program you have to plead guilty or no contest to the charge. Some judges do not accept a no contest plea in a diversion case despite it being statutorily authorized under ORS 813.200(4)(a). Your guilty plea is held in abeyance during the diversion period. If you comply with the terms (no drinking is a new term effective in 2011 and an ignition interlock device became mandatory in 2012) and stay out of trouble, your DUI is dismissed at the end of one year.
There is a diversion fee of $490 that can be paid on a payment plan but must be paid during the yearlong program. Other fees in Oregon include a fee for the alcohol diagnostic assessment ($150), victim impact panel (between $5 and $50), and the actual weekly diversion classes (fees very depending on county).
If you fail to comply with the terms of Oregon’s diversion program, the court could terminate your diversion and sentence you for the Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants charge. The mandatory minimum for a DUII is two days jail or 80 hours community service work and a $1,000 fine. There’s an additional $2,000 fine if your BAC was 0.15% or higher. AND you still have to do the victim impact panel and alcohol treatment as part of probation.
The two most common reasons for failing the diversion program include getting a new DUII and missing diversion classes.
Do you need an attorney if diversion eligible?
People enter diversion every day without a lawyer. The paperwork is available at the courthouse. However, there are significant advantages to having an attorney look at your case before entering diversion. First, you will still be suspended by the Oregon DMV if you failed or refused the intoxilyzer; an attorney can defend you at the DMV hearing. Second, if you are not guilty (not driving, not impaired, less than 0.08% BAC, etc) but are charged anyway, the diversion process could prove an unnecessary and expensive inconvenience. Third, an attorney can review the case for possible suppression issues that could result in a dismissal or triable DUII case. Fourth, if there was an accident involved, you need to protect yourself from civil liability.
Do you need more information?
For more information about Oregon DUIIs, click here.
Call/text 541-797-0110 for more information.