Drunk drivers face severe consequences in any state if they’re caught driving under the influence. Most people associate driving under the influence as being related to alcohol, but driving under the influence of illicit drugs can be just as deadly, as can driving under the influence of distractions — most often cell phones. Some states don’t just issue DUI’s — driving while intoxicated (or impaired) (DWI), driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), operating while intoxicated (OWI), and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OMVI) are some of the terms you might hear. If you’re facing a DUII conviction, you may want to seek out a DUII attorney to help mount a good defense and hopefully minimize the charges against you. This may be especially crucial if you’re underage and are facing DUII charges.
Who’s Driving Under the Influence?
To be be perfectly honest, anyone can drive under the influence. Many people get behind the wheel after having a drink or two and get home alright, but unfortunately, some drink too much before getting in a car. The average drunk driver has driven drunk around 80 times before they get arrested for the first time. On a daily basis, around 300,000 people are driving drunk but under 4,000 are ever arrested. In 2012, over 10 million people said they drove under the influence of illegal drugs and at any moment across America, over 650,000 drivers are distracted by using cell phones are working electronic devices as they drive.
Teenagers can be especially prone to making the choice to drive while under the influence. Around 10% of licensed drivers are under the age of 21 — the legal drinking age — but they make up almost 20% of fatal crashes that are related to alcohol.
What Makes a DUII Different Than a DUI?
The State of Oregon issues a DUII — driving under the influence of intoxicants — instead of a DUI. Essentially, the rules are the same. You’re not allowed to drive or operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. However, the laws have changed a bit to accommodate changing driving habits. Now a DUII encompasses not just intoxication from liquor, but also other substances, inhalants, and a combination of intoxicants. The states seeks to make it clear cut —
all forms of driving while impaired are illegal.
What are the Penalties for a DUII?
Even a first offense comes with hefty consequences. If arrested and charged with a DUII in Oregon, your drivers license will be suspended for one year and spend at least 48 hours in jail, or have to perform 80 hours of community service. There’s also a fine of at least $1,000. The penalties only increase from there and if you receive more than two DUII’s in the last ten years, you can receive a felony DUII charge, which will give you a criminal record, which can affect both personal and professional opportunities.
Why Should I Retain a DUII Attorney?
A DUII attorney can help you mount a good DUII defense and knows DUII law like the back of his or her hand. They might be able to negotiate a plea bargain for you to face lesser non-DUII charges, like reckless driving or “wet reckless” driving. Fighting a DUII charge without the help of a DUII attorney is virtually impossible — you need the experience of someone who has dealt with similar charges, knows what to expect and what they can challenge — such as blood or urine tests, if the conditions are right — and technicalities that could help your case. In some instances, your case may never even go to court, because of the work your attorney has done on your behalf.
If you find yourself facing DUII charges, it’s in your best interests to get a DUII attorney as quickly as possible. You’ll be better equipped to face what’s ahead and may not ultimately end up with a DUI charge.