Have you been arrested for a DUI or DUII charge here in Bend or Deschutes County, Oregon?

If you are facing DUI or DUII in Central Oregon, then you know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to be arrested for drunk driving. If you are considered “impaired” based on field sobriety cues alone (such as bloodshot or watery eyes, or nystagmus), you can get arrested — regardless of whether you were drunk or not.

Sadly, due to fear, discouragement, and a lack of knowledge, a large number of accused citizens will plead guilty to their DUI or DUII offense. That is precisely what our team of attorneys at Donahue Law Firm is here to combat. Let us partner with you to protect your rights, your record, your driver’s license, and your peace of mind.

With our experience and knowledge, we can assess the evidence and work to fight and/or reverse the charges you are facing. We’ll work with you to determine the best plan of action to obtain a favorable outcome. Give us a call to get an initial consultation for your DUI or DUII charge.

Feel free to learn more about DUI or DUII charges in the frequently asked questions section below, and continue reading to learn about the benefits of hiring legal representation while facing a DUI or DUII charge.

Answers to Frequently Asked DUII Questions

What constitutes a DUII in Oregon?

Driving under the influence of intoxicants (or DUII) charges are not taken lightly by the state of Oregon, and they’re treated as a criminal offense. A person may be charged with a DUII in our state by having a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater (or .04% or greater for CDL drivers, or any percent for those under the legal drinking age). To prove a DUII conviction, the state must have evidence that you were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drug intoxicants. Controlled substances (prescription drugs) may also be considered intoxicants, if they impair your ability to drive.

What is the legal limit for blood alcohol content in Oregon?

The legal limit for blood alcohol content varies depending on who is driving, and the vehicle being driven. It is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level higher than .08%. In addition, it is illegal for CDL drivers to exceed a BAC level of .04% while driving. Those who are under the age of 21 cannot have any percent of BAC while driving, due to Oregon’s zero-tolerance policy.

What are the penalties that I can incur if convicted of a DUII?

The severity of penalties that you can incur will vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest, as well as your previous driving and criminal record. For most first-time offenses, the offender will be charged with a misdemeanor DUII, which may result in up to a year of jail time, and a fine of up to $6,250. Misdemeanor DUIIs are considered Class A misdemeanors.

For repeat offenders, and those who are facing more serious arrest circumstances, the state may pursue a felony DUII conviction. Felony DUIIs may result in up to five years of prison time, and fines of up to $125,000. Felony DUIIs are usually only charged against offenders who have had three or more DUII convictions within the last 10 years. Felony DUIIs are considered Class C felonies.

Does Oregon offer a DUII Diversion Program?

For some first-time DUII offenders, a DUII Diversion Program may be an option to, eventually, dismiss the charges held against them. The Diversion Program requires enrolling in a year long program that involves several requirements, including all of the following:

  • Attending a victim impact program.
  • Attending a substance abuse program.
  • Abstaining from drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs.
  • Using an ignition interlock device (IID) for a year.

Again, the Diversion Program may only be an option for certain DUII offenders. To qualify for the Diversion Program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The accused may not have a felony DUII conviction on their record.
  • The accused cannot have any pending DUII charges, and no DUII convictions in the last 15 years.
  • The accused cannot currently be enrolled in a Diversion Program for a DUII or other infraction, and the offender cannot currently be enrolled in a similar program.
  • The accused cannot have, within the last 15 years, been convicted of any of the following crimes: murder, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide, and assault while operating a motor vehicle.
  • The accused cannot have been charged with a DUII while operating a commercial vehicle, nor can they have commercial driving privileges.

Can I be charged with multiple infractions at once?

Yes. Officers can arrest and charge you for multiple infractions at the same time, and the court can attempt to prosecute on multiple infractions at once. In a given arrest, you may be accused of recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving, criminal mischief, failure to obey traffic control devices, careless driving, and other infractions. If the court convicts you of these violations, you can be facing a harsher sentence and heavier fines.

Am I required to submit to testing?

Drivers within the state of Oregon automatically submit to “implied consent” laws when they operate a vehicle. Implied consent means that a driver must submit to testing when asked by an officer; testing may include blood tests, a breathalyzer, or a urine test. If a driver refuses such testing, they may still face DUII charges, and they may have their license revoked for additional time. DMV.org notes the following list of license revocation periods that you can expect if you fail or refuse a test:

“Failure of a breath test:

  • 1st offense: 90 days
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: 1 year

Refusal to take a breath test:

  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: 3 years.

Refusal to take a urine test:

  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: 3 years.

This suspension will not begin until any other implied consent suspensions have ended.

Refusal to take a blood test while receiving medical care after a collision:

  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: 3 years.

Failure of a blood test for DUII while receiving medical care after a collision:

  • 1st offense: 90 days.
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: 1 year.

This suspension will not begin until the 60th day after it was reported to the DMV that you refused the test.”

Can I be charged with a DUII even if the vehicle wasn’t moving?

Yes. Officers can charge individuals with a DUII even if the vehicle wasn’t in motion. The officer still must have reasonable grounds to place a charge against you.

How do underage DUII violations work in Oregon?

If you’re under the age of 21 (the legal drinking age in Oregon), you can still be charged with a DUII. In fact, the laws surrounding those who are under 21 are even more strict, since Oregon has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving. Those who are under 21 cannot have any percentage of blood alcohol in their system while driving, nor can they be impaired in any other way. Those who are between the ages of 18 and 21 will be tried for a DUII in the same fashion as those who are over 21 years old, although they can incur a violation even if their BAC level is less than .08%. Those who are under the age of 18 and have been arrested for a driving under the influence of intoxicants violation may be tried in a juvenile court.

Can I defend myself?

While you can defend yourself from prosecution in the courts, it may be in your favor to hire a criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer understands court proceedings, and they can represent you on your behalf. This knowledge can go a long way to help you reduce charges, reduce the severity of sentencing, or to have your charges dropped altogether.

Can my charges be dropped or reduced?

In certain cases, your charges may be dropped or reduced. If you hire a lawyer here at Donahue Law Firm, we’ll do our utmost to minimize the impact of the charges held against you. We’ll work with you to formulate a game plan that is in your best interest. Again, it’s always our goal to reduce your charges, reduce the severity of your sentencing (if you are convicted of your charges), or to have your charges dropped altogether. For example, for certain first-time infractions, it may be possible to convince the court to knock a DUII charge down to a reckless driving charge — a charge that carries far less severe penalties. Reach out to a lawyer here at Donahue Law Firm for a free consultation about your options.

Can I expunge my record of a DUII?

Unlike other states, traffic offenses cannot be expunged here in Oregon. As of 2010, DUIIs (as well as other traffic infractions), may only be expunged if the charged was dismissed out of court or prosecution was not pursued. In these cases, however, the charges still remain on the record of the accused.

For this reason, it is often best to have your charges reduced or dropped before sentencing; otherwise your record will be irrevocably marred.

How Legal Representation Can Help

If you’re considering hiring an attorney to fight for your rights on your behalf, we’re here to convince you that representation can offer you many benefits. We have expertise in court proceedings; we have long-standing relations with the local law community; we have a deep understanding of local laws; and we always work with your best interests in mind. For these reasons, hiring a criminal defense attorney may be the best option when you’re facing difficult charges. Learn more about each specific benefit below.

Expertise in Court Proceedings: Court proceedings are rather complex. Between attending specific, scheduled dates, filing paperwork, and communicating with other law professionals, you may be confused by the court process, and you may harm your chances of a favorable outcome for the charges you face. When you hire a criminal lawyer, you can trust that your attorney will understand imposing dates, they’ll help you to fill out and file paperwork properly, and they’ll communicate with other law professionals on your behalf.

Long-Standing Relations With the Local Law Community: As we just mentioned, your attorney can speak with law professionals on your behalf. Here at Donahue Law Firm, we have an established rapport with law professionals throughout Central Oregon, and we’re part of the local community here in Bend. As such, we know how to behave in the court to best represent your interests, and we know how best to handle prosecutors and how to treat local judges.

Knowledge of Local Laws: Alongside our rapport with local professionals, we also have a depth of knowledge of local laws. Oregon and Deschutes County have laws that are specific to these regions. We know local law, and we’ve made it our passion to represent and defend those who have been accused of an infraction in the local jurisdiction.

We Keep Your Best Interests in Mind: Regardless of the circumstances of your charges, we always work for your best interests. It’s our goal to find a favorable outcome for you in your upcoming case, whether that means reduced charges, dropped charges, or a minimized sentence. We’ll communicate with you to weigh your options and to determine the best plan of action to pursue a favorable outcome.

Get a Free Initial Consultation Today

If you have questions about DUII infractions here in Oregon, or if you need representation, reach out to our team of criminal defense attorneys. We’re here to help you understand the charge or charges that you face, as well as your options, and your best course of action. Contact us today to protect your rights and to protect yourself from unfair prosecution.