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

DUI Intensive Supervision Program (DISP) vs DUI Diversion in Oregon

The DUI Intensive Supervision Program (DISP) is a diversion type program in Multnomah County. The big difference is DISP is for repeat offenders while the DUI Diversion program is for first time offenders. The DISP is also a much more strict program because it was created for repeat offenders. To enter DISP an individual must sign away their right to drink alcohol for three years. There can be no alcohol in one’s house and a vehicle cannot be owned. Once entered, a DISP participant must report to a case manager and cannot “hang out” at bars or places in which alcohol is exclusively served. Lastly, one must enter a course of treatment to maintain sobriety during the three year period.

The DISP is very intense but it is worth it to anyone that does not want to go through jail time. The DUI felony charges that would normally have them in jail for significant periods of time can be reduced if the person is willing to sign up for the DUI Intensive Supervision Program. This program was created for those that have several DUI convictions. If you have received your first DUI we strongly suggest contacting Mr. Andy Green to discuss the DUI Diversion program.

If you have any questions about legal representation after a DUI in Portland, Oregon or anywhere in Multnomah County contact Andy Green today at 503-477-5040. He has experience throughout Oregon as he has worked in the legal industry for over five years. If you want an experienced and caring Portland DUI attorney call him today.

Can I Get a Hardship Permit After a DUI in Portland, Oregon?

There are many situations in which an individual has a license suspended or revoked but they need to be able to drive to conduct a normal adult life. Driving to and from work and providing transportation to loved ones is often an afterthought for most but it becomes at the forefront of concerns when one does not possess an Oregon Driver’s License. In the state of Oregon there are hardship permits available to those who need to drive for:

  • Occupational and employment (job) purposes;
  • Occupational (job) training or education that is required by one’s employer;
  • Transportation to and from an alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation program;
  • To look for work (for up to 120 days);
  • To obtain medical treatment on a regular basis for oneself or a member of the immediate family.

The Oregon DMV “amended OAR 735-064-0060 to allow a person whose driving privileges are suspended under ORS 809.260 to choose to apply for either a hardship permit or an emergency permit, but not both. The person can choose to apply for the permit that grants the privileges most needed.”

Also of note, the Oregon DMV “amended OAR 735-064-0060 to allow a person with a probationary permit to drive to obtain medical treatment on a regular basis for the person or a member of the person’s immediate family. Such driving was previously allowed only for a hardship permit.”

Getting a hardship permit could require a wait time. For your first Oregon DUI conviction there is no wait to apply for a hardship permit. A judge’s signature is required for a hardship permit for any first offense DUII conviction. A second conviction requires a 90 day waiting period. If you have been convicted three or more times we suggest you call Portland DUI lawyer Andy Green so he can explain the options in better details.

If you have any questions as it relates to getting a hardship permit after receiving a DUII in Portland, Oregon contact Andy Green at 1-503-477-5040. He has years of experience assisting those that are in need of legal representation after receiving a DUI citation.