Getting charged with a DUI can change your life in a matter of minutes. One moment, you’re headed home from work or a social gathering and the next, you’re on your way to spend the night in jail. The whole experience can be traumatic, especially if you weren’t breaking the law. There are a number of reasons why people could be falsely arrested with driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) in Oregon. Untreated diabetes or other medical conditions could result in a failed field sobriety test and breath test. Mistakes or uncalibrated breath tests could also cause serious legal issues for someone.
You are still required under law to submit to a breath test if you are driving. Failing the test results in arrest. Oregon sets the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08 percent. Anyone whose test shows a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher will face criminal DUII charges. Even if your driving ability wasn’t impaired and you got stopped for an unrelated reason, you could still get convicted of a DUII offense. The higher your BAC level when tested, the higher the potential penalties for your offense. Having children in the car could also result in increased penalties or additional criminal charges.
Penalties include jail, fines and loss of your license
Oregon takes DUII offenses very seriously, and it shows in how these offenses are sentenced. A first offense carries between two days and one year in jail, a fine of at least $1,000 but up to $10,000, the required installation of an ignition interlock system and loss of your license for at least a year. A second offense incurs up to a year in jail, a fine of between $1,500 and $10,000, license suspension for up to three years and an ignition interlock system for another two years after the suspension ends. A third offense within a ten year period becomes a Class C felony, which is a serious criminal charge.
That third DUII charge carries penalties that include up to five years in prison, a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 and permanent loss of your driver’s license. Getting convicted of a felony DUII offense could result in issues with employment, housing and even your closest relationships. Whether you are facing your first DUII or third DUII charge, you should speak with an experienced Oregon DUII criminal defense attorney as soon as you know you’re facing charges.
Your attorney can help you explore your options for a defense. Lesser charges may be possible, or diversion from criminal court if you complete substance abuse therapy. In some cases, issues with how sobriety and breath tests were performed could have them excluded from evidence in the trial. The only way to know what options are available is to talk with a lawyer.