DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants) is a serious criminal offense that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. DUII carries a minimum penalty of either two days in jail or 80-hours of community service, a $1,000 fine (or more, depending on other factors), plus a requirement that you undergo an alcohol evaluation and treatment program, attend a "victims impact seminar" and install an ignition interlock device on your car, at your expense.
Whether you face any or all of these penalties will depend upon the circumstances of your DUII, including whether the office had probable cause to stop your vehicle, whether this is your first DUII, and your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level.
Immediately, you will have to address the license suspension that will take effect 30 days after your arrest. Doing so requires you to challenge the suspension within 10 days of your arrest. Missing this deadline may prevent you from contesting the suspension and, regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted of the DUII, you will face a period of time with no driver's license. That, by itself, can have dire consequences for your employment and ability to manage your personal life. You need an experienced attorney to evaluate your case immediately and advise you as to the best course of action.
I Blew Less Than A .08!
How Can I Get A DUII?
One of the most misunderstood aspects of DUII law is the .08 BAC rule. The crime of DUII merely requires that you have operated a vehicle on a public road while under the influence of an intoxicant. It does not require that you meet a minimum BAC. Rather, if your BAC is .08 or higher, you are legally presumed intoxicated. However, if your BAC is less than .08, then the prosecution will need additional evidence that you were intoxicated. Such evidence may include video tape of your driving and of the field sobriety tests that you performed during the stop.
You may also be charged with a "controlled substance" DUII, meaning you were believed to be under the influence of an intoxicant other than alcohol. It does not matter whether the intoxicant was legal or illegal, prescribed or not.
About the only benefit that flows from a BAC of less than .08 is that you will not face the automatic 90-day driver's license suspension that is otherwise imposed by the DMV.
What is Diversion, and Am I Eligible?
Unlike virtually any other crime (and DUII is a crime), people charged with their first DUII may have an opportunity to avoid a conviction. That process is called "diversion." If you are allowed to enter the diversion program, you will first be required to plead guilty to the DUII. Your guilty plea will be put aside and you will then be required to undergo an alcohol evaluation and treatment program, as well as meet other requirements. If you can successfully complete the program and not obtain another DUII for one year, your guilty plea will be disregarded and the DUII will be dismissed.
However, if you fail to satisfactorily complete the program, your guilty plea will be entered against you and you will return to court for sentencing, at which point you will still be required to undergo the same program as if you had completed diversion, but now you will have a criminal conviction.
Whether you are eligible for the program depends upon a number of factors: prior DUIIs, whether you possess a commercial driver's license (CDL), whether your DUII caused injury to another person, and other factors. An experienced DUII attorney can review your situation and advise you whether diversion is an option for you.
Why Should I Hire Martin Fisher?
Martin has successfully represented people charged with DUII in Eugene. Additionally, Martin has served as an interim prosecutor for the cities of Cottage Grove, Florence, and Junction City and has an "insider" understanding of how to effectively challenge a DUII charge.