General State of Oregon DUI and MIP Citations

Drunk driving in the United States is nearly an epidemic. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 29.1 million people have admitted to driving drunk at one time or another in their life, which is more than the population of Texas. 23.1% of those people are between the ages of 21 to 25 years old, and the average drunk driver has driven while intoxicated upwards of 80 times before being arrested. Even scarier stats: every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving-related accident; and, as of 2013, someone is killed every 52 minutes by a drunk driver.

So, where does Oregon stand in all of this? According to MADD.org, Oregon is a “three star” state out of five, having made major improvements in the state drunk driving laws over the last eight years. The Oregon DUII Data Book, covering the years 1998 through 2008, shows that car crashes as a result of drunk driving that cause fatalities and injuries has decreased from 19,284 in 1999 to 18,409 in 2008. And, DUII offenses have decreased by 1.1% over the ten-year period, which is impressive considering the 14.8% increase in population during that time in Oregon state. For those convicted, the number of diversion agreements (or, an alternative sentence to jail time) has also decreased, by 11.6%, which presumably means harsher sentencing from Oregon state judges.

On the subject of young people under the influence, Minor in Possession (MIP) citations have been cut in half since 1998, decreasing from 14,849 to 7,762 by 2008. In that same year, 718 juveniles were denied their license privileges, presumably because of past citations and/or convictions. Most importantly, though, the number of fatalities in people under the age of 21 has decreased in Oregon, again almost by half. In 1998, 77 youths died alcohol-related deaths, and in 2008, that number was 34. But, all of these statistics, though good and evident of progress, do not mean that the hard work is over. The fact of the matter is, there are still drunk drivers out on the roads, in Oregon and everywhere else, and young people experimenting with drugs and alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Diligence on the part of our law enforcement officers to educate citizens and stop dangerous driving in action will eradicate drunk driving and make the necessity of these statistics a thing of the past.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUII in the state of Oregon, contact Portland DUI/DUII lawyer Andy Green.

Can I Get a DUI or DUII For a Single Drink If I Am underage?

Drinking underage is a huge risk that can affect the rest of your life if you are caught. Though it can be potentially fun and exciting as, say, a teenager to engage in alcohol-related activities, it can also be dangerous and possibly fatal to those involved. That is why the only times that minors are legally allowed to imbibe are:

  1. In a private setting (such as a home) in the presence or with the permission of a legal guardian or consenting adult
  2. For religious purposes (such as the drinking of sacramental wine in a church)
  3. For government work (in a controlled setting for research purposes)

In Oregon, the rate of underage drinking is exponentially higher than it is in other states. And, the rate of alcohol-related auto fatalities caused by underage drivers versus those caused by drivers 21 years of age and older is also much higher. Therefore, the state has very strict laws and regulations when it comes to DUI’s and underage drinking.

Oregon’s DUI laws are the same for a minor as they are for an adult. This means that, if a person or persons under the age of 21 are pulled over while driving and are in suspicion of drinking, and their BAC (blood alcohol content) is anything above 00.00%, they could be charged with a DUI. The penalties of an underage DUI charge include imprisonment, fines, and license suspension. In addition, an underage driver could also be charged with distributing alcohol to (other) minors, possession of alcohol, solicitation of alcohol, child endangerment, and more, depending on the specifics of the situation.

If you or someone you know has been charged with an underage DUII in the state of Oregon, contact me at 503-477-5040 or you can use my contact page here.

Is There a Breathalyzer App for the iPhone or an Android Phone?

Nowadays, it seems like we have an app for everything: getting directions, keeping track of our calories, and even finding parking spaces on crowded city blocks. There are also apps that, for a minimal cost, can act as a breathalyzer and test the level of alcohol in your bloodstream. So, how does this technology work? And what are the options out there for iPhone and Android phone users? And more importantly, is it at all reliable?

First, the technology of a breathalyzer app varies between providers, but the first step almost always involves downloading said app to your smartphone. Some of these apps are free, and some will cost you. Some, like “Can I Drive Yet?” on Apple’s App Store, act as a calculator. The user inputs their age, sex, weight, height, and how much they’ve had to drink, and the app provides an estimate of their BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content. Others are components of a larger system that involves connecting an actual breathalyzer to your phone, physically or via Bluetooth, that will give you a reading on your screen. Some of the top-rated apps out there include BACtrack, Alcohoot, and Breathometer. These products range in price from $30 to $150, and they also range in size. Some, like The Original Breathometer or the BACtrack Go or Vio, can fit in your pocket or on a keychain. The Breathometer is wearable and doesn’t require a disposable mouthpiece. And almost all employ what is called Back To Zero technology, which predicts when you will be back at a 0% BAC, or at the very least, a safe level to drive.

iphone-breathalyzer-app

Speaking of safety, the jury is still out on the effectiveness and accuracy of these apps and their external components. A Today Show experiment conducted back in August of last year showed a wide range of test results for these apps, some that doubled the participants’ BAC, and some that underrated the results of the breathalyzer by 66%, a dangerous dip for someone considering whether or not to get behind the wheel. The general consensus among law enforcement is that if you are questioning your level of sobriety, you don’t need an app to tell you not to drive. The one positive of these apps is that it does allow access to so much information through our smartphones. Specifically, through the apps of the three aforementioned top contenders (BACtrack, Alcohoot, and Breathometer), a person can find nearby restaurants, open hotels, and call a cab or Uber car to get them home safely.

For more information on DUII citations and how breathalyzer tests work please access our valuable resource on breathalyzer tests in Oregon here. If you have any questions as it relates to a DUII or breathalyzer test do not hesitate to reach out to me today. You can contact me at 1-503-477-5040. I will be more than happy to help you as a successful Portland DUI Lawyer.

Does the Color of Wine Determine the Alcohol by Content?

Alcohol is a major part of many people’s lives. It is a gateway to socializing on weekends or after work, it compliments our meals, and it also, when used responsibly, can make us feel pretty good and relaxed. Wine especially achieves all of those things. There are parties and events devoted to wine tastings, stores devoted to helping you find the right bottle to pair with a steak or fancy cheese, and the overall act of drinking wine—from the uncorking to the pour into a long-stemmed glass, to the process of taking that first sip—invokes feelings of class and elegance. There is a lot to learn about wine, especially about the difference between the two colors of white and red, and how that affects you when you drink it.

First off, what exactly is wine? Wine is the pressed juice that comes from fermented grapes. That is, of course, a very simple way of breaking down a complicated and arduous process which involves growing specific types of grapes for a predetermined amount of time in the right kind of weather, harvesting them, pressing the juice, aging it in a barrel, and bottling it up for consumption.

The species of grape used to make wine has very much to do with the composition of the wine itself. The skin, pulp, and stems of the wine will determine the color, the flavor, and the amount of tannins, or natural preservatives, in the wine. Red wines are made with red or dark grapes, and white wine can be made with either white (“green”) or dark-skinned grapes. The type of grape will also determine where the wine is from (a warmer or cooler climate), how long they must grow on the vine and when they should be harvested, and how long the juice must ferment. The difference in color between white and red wines is that the skins of the grapes are removed after pressing for a white wine, and they are left intact for red wines. Again, the colors within these two main types will also vary depending on the factors listed above.

So, which of these wines has the higher alcohol content? In general, red wines will have a higher alcohol by volume (ABV), but this will vary from wine to wine. Alcohol comes from the fermentation of the sugar in the grape, and the riper the grape, the higher the sugar content. Typically, red wine grapes are left on the vine to ripen much longer than white wine grapes, so their alcohol content is higher, but you could also hypothetically do the same with a white wine grape, upping that wine’s alcohol content as well. If ever in doubt about a wine’s alcohol content, check the bottle’s label. The percentage of alcohol by volume will always be there, so that you can be well-informed before you imbibe.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device and Will I Need One After a DUI?

A DUI (or, driving under the influence) is the crime of operating a motor vehicle, such as a car or truck, while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Sometimes known as a DWI, or a DUII in the state of Oregon, DUI charges are determined by testing the BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, of the driver. BAC measures the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream through a breathalyzer test. The limitations vary from state-to-state, but if your BAC is in excess of 0.05% to 0.08%, you would more than likely be charged with a DUI.  The higher your BAC, and the severity of the offense (for example, a routine stop versus a fatal car accident), the more intense your punishment may be.

After an arrest for a DUI, a driver will typically have their license suspended. A first offense may mean a suspension for 90 days to one calendar year. A first DUI conviction will result in a one year license suspension. A second conviction will be three years. And again, if the DUI is issued as the result of an accident that has caused major or fatal injuries to another party, there could be fines and jail time in addition to a license suspension.

There is no license suspension in the Oregon DUII Diversion Program, but participants are required to use an IID (Ignition Interlock Device). IID’s are just like they sound: devices that are installed in the ignition of a car that require a breath sample from the driver before they are allowed to turn the engine of their vehicle on. If the IID detects a trace of alcohol, the ignition will lock until a clean sample can be provided. The driver is responsible for all costs of the IID, including purchase of the device, installation, maintenance, and removal, throughout the course of the sentence. In the state of Oregon, anyone entered into a DUII Diversion Agreement must install the device, and anyone convicted of a DUII in court must also install the device in order to have their license reinstated.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUII in the state of Oregon, contact Portland DUI/DUII lawyer me at 1-503-477-5040

How Many Glasses of Wine Equals a Shot of Vodka?

Over the last few weeks I have been publishing articles to help explain how much alcohol consumption “intoxicates” the common person. Many people ask me how many glasses of wine equals a shot of vodka. All things being considered, one 1.5 oz shot of liquor is equivalent to 5 oz of wine. Remember that red wine and white wine have different alcohol by volume levels. Most restaurants serve wine in a five or six ounce glass. In essence, one 1.5 oz shot equals a full glass of wine.

When determining the level of alcohol in your body it is important to understand that each individual is different. Body weight, alcohol tolerance, medications taken and several other factors come into play as it relates to getting “drunk”. Having a breathalyzer can come in very useful for those that are not aware of their alcohol intake. Another great rule of thumb is to bring along a designated driver. Having a DD can save you a lot of time, stress and money in the long run.

In Portland, there are hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers that will be more than willing to pick you up for a fee. You may want to consider the old fashioned taxi cab as well. The problem lies in a person drinking two glasses of wine and feeling as if they are capable to drive. If you have been in this situation and have received a ticket or citation for a DUII and it is your first offense there are options available. The DUII Diversion program could help you get all charges dropped. I am well versed in this particular program and can help you avoid potentially losing your license.

Please reach out to me at 503-477-5040 for free consultation. You can also you my contact page. The sooner you contact me the sooner you will understand your options moving forward.

What Does the “Proof” Mean in Relation to Alcohol Content?

Alcohol proof in the United States is defined as twice the percentage of Alcohol by Volume (ABV). This is a very easy calculation as Jack Daniels whiskey is 40% alcohol by volume which makes it 80 proof. Any adult beverage that is over 100 proof is considered a very strong alcoholic beverage. In the popular Discovery TV Show Moonshiners there are a few individuals that attempt to make 200 proof moonshine alcohol.

When it comes to intoxication or driving while under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) please understand that each person is different. There are some people that can easily handle three or four shots of hard liquor while there are others that become intoxicated with just one or two shots. There are breathalyzers that are available for those that are concerned they are too drunk to drive.

Also remember that Portland has many options when it comes to getting home safely without driving. In the last year the company Uber has become extremely popular. If you download the Uber app for your Android or iPhone you can “hail a cab” from your phone without even walking out of the bar or party. The app has your credit card safely secured and you will be charged once you return safely to your home or destination. There are always old fashioned cabs that are available throughout the city of Portland and state or Oregon as well.

Before trying a different type of vodka, gin, whiskey or rum it is wise to ask the bartender the exact alcohol by volume or proof of the beverage before taking four or five shots. Some of the newer mixes don’t even taste like alcohol and they can get an individual drunk quickly without them even knowing it.

If you would like more information about DUI representation please reach out to me at 1-503-477-5040. I have several years of experience representing those that have been cited for a DUII in the Portland, Oregon area.

If I Get a DUI Can I Plead Wet Reckless in Portland?

This is a question I get asked quite a bit. Anyone living outside of Portland or the state of Oregon has likely heard of others pleading “Wet Reckless” which is a lesser offense than a DUI. Wet reckless is described as a reduced plea arrangement made by a driver that has been arrested for driving while intoxicated. In essence, the driver pleads to reckless driving with alcohol being involved. What is different about a wet reckless plea is that it comes with fewer obligations, punishments and costs.

man pulled over for dui

In the state of Oregon the law prohibits prosecutors from reducing DUII charges meaning a wet reckless plea is not permitted in Portland or throughout the state of Oregon. Even though a wet reckless plea is not possible in the state, an experienced Portland DUI attorney such as myself can assist when it comes to reducing the penalties that come with a guilty plea of a DUII. In the state of Oregon there is a Diversion Program in which first time offenders may be eligible. This is a way for first time offenders to get the DUII off their driver’s record without a conviction. If you are seeking legal representation or information about reducing your DUII please contact me at 503-477-5040. You can also use the Contact Form to provide the information about your case.

When it comes to the Portland Diversion Program here are the eligibility requirements:

  • you meet all requirements described in the attached Petitioner Sworn Statement of Eligibility (DUII Diversion Form 3); and
  • you appeared in court on the date scheduled for your first appearance on the charge or the court finds good reason to excuse your failure to do so; and
  • you file this petition with the court within thirty (30) days of your first appearance in court, unless the court finds there is good cause to allow a later date.

A very important waiver of rights is “If you have a prior DUII conviction, the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision rules may prohibit you from leaving the state without permission during the diversion period.”

These rights and rules can be very complicated to understand. Many of those that read this resource will likely be first time offenders when it comes to DUII in Portland or the state or Oregon. I would urge you to contact me at 503-477-5040 as this will make it much easier for me to explain ways in which we can get your DUII off your driver’s record without a conviction. If you would like more information on the Oregon DUII Diversion Program please go to the link provided.