drugged driving in Oregon

DUI Controlled Substance in Oregon

Did you know that you can get a DUI in Oregon even if you haven’t been drinking?

Many Oregon residents are surprised to learn that “Driving Under the Influence” isn’t limited to the influence of alcohol. You can also get into legal trouble for operating a vehicle if you have prescription drugs, weed, narcotics, and other illegal drugs or intoxicants in your system. Even something as seemingly innocent as cold medicine could put you at risk for a felony charge.

These substances are known to impair judgment, reaction time, depth perception, and coordination, making them dangerous when combined with driving. For example, someone on opioids for pain may be drowsy or dizzy. And, a driver who has recently used cocaine or methamphetamines might be more reckless or aggressive on the road. 

Many think that marijuana is a harmless substance, but research shows that it can cause drivers to weave in and out of lanes, react slowly to stimuli, and they tend to pay less attention to the road

In Oregon, the official charge is called a DUII, or driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Statistics on Drugged Driving

A recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 12.8 million people drove while under the influence of illicit drugs in 2017. Drunk driving is still more prevalent than drugged driving, with 21.4 million admitting to committing this crime.

Intoxication Levels

The national standard for drunk driving is a Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/mL. There is no such standard for drugged driving primarily because drugs affect people differently, so a high concentration in one person may not have the same effect on someone else.

To determine if a driver is intoxicated, police officers are specially trained to detect impairment due to intoxicants. 

Unlike other states, Oregon is not a “zero tolerance” state. This means that drivers can still legally operate a vehicle even if they have controlled substances in their system. Further, there’s no threshold of a legal versus an illegal amount of drug that makes driving a crime. Instead, the police determine if the drugs are adversely affecting the person’s ability to drive before issuing a DUII. 

Methods of Detection

Currently, there is no scientifically sound method or systematic approach to proving drug impairment. The first step an officer is likely to take is to rule out alcohol when they observe a driver that is acting erratically. After committing a field breath-alcohol test and finding the drive to be alcohol-free, the police officer will then turn his or her attention to detecting drug use.

To detect the presence and concentration of illicit substances, the driver must then take a blood or urine test.

Drugged Driving Penalties

If you’re arrested for a DUII, your license will be suspended for 90 days, and you’ll have to pay some fees. A DUI attorney is a necessity to either help prove your innocence or reduce the consequences of both the administrative and criminal penalties that you could face if convicted. If you’re found guilty of a DUII, then the typical punishment for a first offense is a license suspension for a period of one year, a hefty fine (up to $10,000), and the subsequent use of an IID (ignition interlock device) after the suspension period is over.

Criminal penalties are also a possibility, including community service and/or a jail sentence lasting up to one year. 

Everyone makes mistakes, and you deserve a lawyer you can trust to help argue your case. Contact the law office of Andy Green today for a free consultation.

DUI Court Hearing Oregon

DUI Hearings and Court Dates in Oregon: What to Expect

After a DUI arrest, you might be wondering what’s next in the process. You’ve been released from a brief, likely overnight, stay in jail, and you’re free to go. 

Now comes the trial process.

We call it a “process” because you can expect to be in court more than one time. In your first court date, you won’t have any information about what the state has against you or any evidence that could imply guilt. Therefore, the trial process is your chance to either prove your innocence or minimize the criminal and financial penalties of a DUII.

The Arraignment

You can expect your first court date, called the arraignment, to occur either the next day or within a few days, though it could be up to a month later. 

The arraignment is when you’re officially charged with a crime, and it’s the first step of the process. The main purpose of this appearance is to ensure that the court has gotten your identity correct. The judge will confirm the spelling of your name, your date of birth, and give you your next court date.

If you choose to go to the arraignment, you’ll enter the courtroom and wait for your name to be called. When you hear your name, your DUI attorney (if you have one) will approach the bench and receive a copy of your charges. 

At this point, you or your lawyer will enter a plea of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” If plead “not guilty,” then you’ll be assigned a new court date with the District Attorney.

Is Attendance at the Arraignment Mandatory?

You must attend your arraignment unless your DUI attorney tells you otherwise. Failure to appear could result in the court issuing a warrant for your arrest. In some cases, your DUI lawyer may be able to cancel the arraignment or appear on your behalf, but you must either be present or have representation. Otherwise, you could face further penalties and criminal charges.

The Discovery Process

After the arraignment, your DUI attorney will request to receive a copy of all the evidence against you, in a process called “Discovery.” The discovery documents will include the police report, results from the lab or breathalyzer tests, and notes from a field sobriety test (if you took one, and hopefully you did not).

After reviewing all of the evidence, a qualified DUI attorney will be able to determine if the police followed the correct procedures, whether your rights were respected or violated, and what your best options are moving forward. 

Preliminary Hearing

After you plead “not guilty,” which is almost always going to be the best course of action, your next court date will be a preliminary hearing where the state prosecutor has a burden of convincing the judge that there is probable to find you guilty of a DUII. If the state cannot furnish enough evidence, then the case is dismissed.

Trial

Finally, if it gets this far, there will be a trial, complete with opening statements, witnesses, and closing arguments. 

Tips for Your Court Appearance

 

While you may not be experienced in court proceedings, a judge is, and he or she could be influenced by your behavior and appearance in the courtroom. It’s imperative that you present yourself as an upstanding citizen to improve your chances of making a favorable impression.

How to Dress:

  • Males should wear a suit that is clean and neatly pressed with well-maintained footwear. If you don’t have a suit, then a pair of slacks with a professional button-down shirt and tie will suffice.

  • Females can opt for a suit or a pair of dress pants paired with a blouse. A conservative-length skirt is also acceptable.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t bring food or drink into the courtroom. This includes chewing gum. 
  • Don’t be late. Make sure you arrive on time or early.
  • Don’t be disrespectful. Address the judge as “Your Honor,” and maintain a polite and even tone when speaking.
  • Don’t argue. Judges have heard every excuse and argument dozens, if not hundreds, of times already. Stick to the facts of your case.

Need help with your DUII case? Contact DUI Attorney, Andy Green, today.

portland dui news

Portland Police Commander Resigns After DUI Crash While Off-Duty

A DUI charge can be a life-altering experience and have far-reaching consequences beyond a temporary license suspension, community service, or a prison sentence.

It can also affect your reputation and career, especially if you’re in a high-profile position.

Former Portland police commander, Steven James Jones, experienced the consequences firsthand when he was charged with a DUI in June 2018 while driving his police-issued SUV while off duty.

Are You Subject to a Morality Clause?

Several professions are required to follow a code of ethics, even during their off-time. Also called Morality Clauses, these rules are designed to protect the reputation of the employer in case an employee acts in a way that is inconsistent with the organization’s values.

The consequences for violating a morality clause include disciplinary action, and in many cases, termination of employment.

Morality clauses are becoming increasingly common (especially with the rise of social media), and a variety of organizations include them in employment contracts, including:

  • Teachers
  • Police Officers
  • Actors and Television Personalities
  • High-profile Executives

In the case of Jones, this charge comes with an extra side of irony. His title with the Police Bureau was Commander of the Professional Standards Division.

Severe Consequences

Jones served the police bureau for almost 25 years before the incident. The discipline he could face was bound to be severe, so he elected to resign from his position before anyone could force him or terminate him.

To serve for the Oregon Police Department requires a certification from the state police licensing agency, and a DUI could also put this certification in jeopardy.

An Expensive Mistake

Not only did Jones break the law, but he did it in a government vehicle. The financial damages he had to pay totaled $38,239.95, which covered the expense of the SUV and the cost to repair the pole he hit in the collision.

Thankfully, no one was with Jones in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Otherwise, the penalties could have been even more severe.

The Elephant in the Room

Being a police officer is a visible job and getting in an accident after driving intoxicated is a black mark on the reputation of the police force. We expect the police to take their role of “Serve and Protect” seriously, even when off duty. When Jones made a choice to drive his company vehicle with a BAC over the legal .08 limit, he put lives in danger.

Being angry at this conduct is normal, but that’s not the lesson of this blog post. The moral of this story is that even a police officer is not “above” the law. He got caught, and he has to face the consequences of his actions. What’s more, if anyone could figure out how to wiggle out of the law, a veteran police officer would certainly be able to pull it off. However, the rules on DUIs in Oregon are clear, and there are consequences.

Still, it could have been worse for Jones. Though he will feel the pinch financially (he will still get his pension, but it will be less than if he had remained on the force a few months longer and reached the 25-year milestone), he avoided jail and is on one year of probation.

To ensure you get fair legal treatment, contact a DUI attorney for a consultation.

drunk driving portland

Portland ranks high on the list for “America’s Drunkest Driving Cities”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30 lives are lost every day across America due to drunk driving.  The cost data reveals that deaths and damages incurred by drunk drivers amass to over $40 billion annually.

A 2018 study analyzed by QuoteWizard found the City of Portland, Oregon ranked 12th as the highest rate of DUI’s per driver.   (See the chart below)

Last year the same study found that Portland also ranked 8th as the city with the worst drivers, with the survey analyzing DUI’s, car crashes, traffic citations, and speeding tickets per driver.

dui study highest rate of duis

The High Price of Drunk Driving

The consequences of drunk driving are immensely costly. The Alaska Department of Vehicles estimated that the total expense of a first DUI conviction is the equivalent of paying for a taxi cab ride halfway around the world.

Some of the expenses that are typically associated with a DUI conviction include bail, impound costs, court fines, legal fees, DUI education courses, probation fees, drug and alcohol assessment and counseling, license reinstatement fees and loss of work income.

The study found that drivers with a DUI arrest suffer an increase in their car insurance rates on average of $833/year for at least 3 years. Which translates to an additional $2500 more on car insurance rates for 3 years after the DUI arrest.

The average cost of the DUI after adding in legal fees and fines brought the average cost of a first time DUI to over $7000 or more.  

The Importance of Good Legal Representation

If you have been arrested or charged for a DUI in Oregon, contact a DUI defense attorney who understands how to navigate you through the legal system in order to help minimize or avoid the consequences of a drunk driving conviction. This will save you time and money in the long run.

You Received a DUI — Now What?

So, you’re feeling completely overwhelmed-you’ve been arrested for a DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants—these include alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both), commonly referred to as a DUI or DWI. No matter if this is your first or hundredth time, you will probably be dealing with a wide range of emotions and questions. Not of least of these is probably: What happens now?

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Andy Green, attorney at law, P.C., has years of experience representing people facing DUII charges in Portland Oregon. Call 1-503-477-5040 to set up an appointment today.

In addition to contacting a good lawyer that can represent and help guide you through the process, there are a few other things to keep in mind when arrested for a DUII. Keep in mind that if this is a repeat offense, it is likely that penalties and criminal charges will be more severe than if this is your first DUII.

Here is some of the most important information to keep in mind when dealing with a DUII charge in Oregon.  

 

  1. If you are arrested for an alcohol content of .08% or more—even if you are not later convicted—you will face some administrative penalties. These could include at least a 90-day license suspension. If you refuse to take a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) then you could face a license suspension of up to three years. You can receive a hardship or emergency permit. See our earlier blog post about who qualifies for these special permits and how to obtain one.
  2. Unlike other criminal charges, a DUII comes with mandatory fees. In Oregon you will likely need to pay at least $1000, but you could be charged up to $10,000.
  3. Criminal charges and a court summons will be issued to you upon our release from jail following your initial arrest. It is imperative that you attend your court date. At your first hearing, or arraignment, you can offer a plea of innocent or guilty. You will want to have hired a good attorney, as they can advise you the of the best plea to make in your specific case.
  4. If convicted of the DUII there are a number of consequences that you will face. These will vary in severity depending on the number of offenses you have, if a child under 18 or a person younger than the driver by three years or more was in the vehicle, and your blood-alcohol content level (BAC).
  • Your license will be suspended for at least one year or could be revoked permanently.
  • You could have to pay a conviction fee on top of fines already imposed.
  • You will need to serve 2 days to five years in jail or at least 80 hours of community service.
  • Your participation in drug and alcohol treatment and the Victim’s Impact Panel will be mandatory.
  • You will need to install an ignition interlock device for one to two years after your license is reinstated.

 

Getting a DUII can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in your life. As mentioned above, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to hire a good defense attorney. For those of you dealing with DUII charges in Portland, Oregon, Andy Green is a good person to have on your side. Call 1-503-477-5040 to ask questions about your DUII charge or set up a meeting.

Can a DUI Lawyer Go to My First Portland, Oregon Court Appearance?

If you have a conflict that will not allow you to go to your first DUI court appearance there is a possibility you can hire or retain the services of a DUI lawyer to make an appearance for you. The lawyer must tell you that he or she can appear on your behalf.

The general rule is if you fail to appear for court you forfeit your right to do diversion and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.   You may also be charged with the crime of failure to appear.

There is an exception; in some Oregon courts if you hire an attorney prior to your first appearance and the attorney can appear on your behalf.  Some of these counties include Multnomah County; Clackamas County and Washington County. If you have any questions about appearing in court after a DUI contact Andy Green today at 503-477-5040.

An important piece of information is you must always appear in court on felony DUI charges or any felony charges in general. Failure to appear (FTA) can cause many legal problems. Upon missing a court date a second crime can be charged. It can be a failure to appear in the second degree or failure to appear in the first degree. The court will issue a warrant for your arrest which is known as a bench warrant. We strongly suggest you talk to a lawyer before missing any court date. This could end up saving you a significant amount of jail time and money in the near future.

Having worked with the Multnomah County District Attorneys Office Mr. Andy Green knows the intricacies of the Oregon Court System. Rather than missing your first court appearance and having a warrant out for your arrest it is wise to contact one of the best Portland DUI lawyers today. He can help explain all of your options before your first court date.

What is DISP for DUI in Multnomah County?

DISP is a DUI Intensive Supervision Program offered only in Multnomah County, Oregon for repeat DUII offenders. Though similar to a DUI Diversion program, DISP is not intended for those with a first or second-time DUII offense. In fact, it is geared towards helping those with multiple offenses, people who have felony charges related to the amount of DUI’s they have accumulated and who clearly have issues with substance abuse. Therefore, DISP is really an alcohol reform program for those people, which often allows them to avoid any further jail time.

When a person enters Multnomah County’s DISP, they are signing away their right to drink alcohol for a term of three years. They cannot be in the presence of alcohol socially or privately; so, for example, they cannot hang out at bars or have any alcohol in their home. A person who enters into the DISP also forfeits their right to driving a car for the duration of the program. The program also requires that participants visit with their parole officers frequently to monitor their progress, so it is not only then a commitment for the person with the record, but family and friends as well.

Many times, because of the strict requirements of DISP, people are unable to meet all of the expectations placed upon them and end up serving part of what could end up being a year-long jail sentence because of just one slip-up. It is a difficult program, but those who complete it not only avoid a year in prison, but also gain control of their life and their addiction. It is a very special program (Clackamas County is the only other that runs something even close to DISP) that, with the help of a lawyer, could help a person with multiple DUII offenses in the Portland area really turn their life around.
If you are looking for an experienced and well-respected lawyer to represent your Portland Metro Area DUII case, look no further than Andy Green at (503)471-1385