DUII, or Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, is defined as the act of driving under the influence of alcohol, an inhalant, or a controlled substance. Like a DUI charge, a DUII charge is also taken very seriously in the state of Oregon. A police officer may stop a suspected driver on the roadside if they suspect that the person is driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Some of the common signs the officer will look for is if you are fumbling, if your ability to walk is affected, or if your ability to comprehend things is affected.
If the driver shows signs of intoxication, the officer will then try to determine the cause of intoxication. The officer will try to determine if there is an indication of alcohol consumption such as if the driver has blood shot eyes, slurred speech, slow movements, and an odor of alcohol coming from them or their vehicle. If the suspect does not look like they are under the influence of alcohol, then the officer will try to determine if they are under the influence of any other intoxicating substance such as marijuana. In case DUII is suspected, a DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) will be called to the scene to evaluate the driver.
During that time, the officer may ask the driver for their license and registration and also conduct road side tests. The officer will observe how the driver responds to the given commands and instructions. Some of the most commonly conducted field sobriety tests include the One Leg Stand test, Walk and Turn test, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and Vertical Gaze Nystagmus test. The officer may also conduct a breathalyzer test to determine if the driver is under the influence of alcohol. If the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence of any other intoxicant, he will issue a blood test.
According to Oregon law, drivers are required to impulsively consent to any breath testing, Also, when a driver consents to any of these tests when requested by a law enforcement officer, it means that the officer has probable cause to do so. Refusing to submit to a breath test can result in a suspension of the driver’s license. Refusing a breath test in Oregon is a criminal offense which can result in fines along with other penalties. In other states, refusing to submit to a breath test may be classified as a misdemeanor, but in Oregon, it is considered a violation. Law enforcement officers can take the driver to the station if he or she refuses to submit to the test. At the station, a list of requirements will be read out to the driver, informing them why they must consent to the test.
The driver can then refuse the test or agree to it. If the driver says no, the officer can get a search warrant from the judge in order to draw blood. In most cases, blood draws are taken in a hospital setting and then sent off to a forensic laboratory for testing.
The legal BAC limit allowed for driving in the state of Oregon is 0.08%. Anyone who registers a BAC of 0.08% or higher will be considered legally intoxicated. Anyone blowing a BAC of 0.07% may also find themselves facing a DUI charge, depending on the timeframe, or if the officer had reasonable doubt to believe that the suspect was under the influence.
If the officer finds other intoxicating substances like marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamines, or paraphernalia in your car or on you, it would be considered a combined combination of substances, and the driver will be charged accordingly. Drug Recognition Experts will be brought in to determine the cause of intoxication. DREs are law enforcement officers who receive special training through the training facility in Oregon. The Drug Recognition Expert will conduct various tests, and may also ask the driver to perform the field sobriety tests all over again once on the jail premises. Additional tests may be run to monitor the individuals’ vital signs, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. The drug recognition expert may also ask you to take a urinalysis test or get a warrant to obtain a blood sample again. If any of these tests reveal the presence of a controlled substance, the person will be charged with DUII or Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.
Factors that aggravate a DUII charge in Oregon
A number of contributing factors can aggravate a DUII charge in Oregon, such as if the person has been convicted of drunken driving before, if they refused to take a breath test, if they were involved in an accident causing property damage, or if they were involved in an accident causing great bodily injury or harm or even death. Similarly, if the driver had a passenger younger than 18 years with them in the car at the time of arrest, or a passenger at least 3 years younger than the driver, it will also be considered an aggravating factor. Recording a BAC of 0.15 percent or more will also be considered an aggravating factor. Anyone facing enhanced felony charges in Oregon must also be aware of the harsh consequences of a felony DUII charge.
According to Oregon DUI law, if a person has 2 DUII convictions over the last 10 years, a third DUII charge involving drugs or alcohol will be classified as a Class C felony. The previous convictions could be from the state of Oregon or any other state.
If any of these factors are present, the judge can impose a harsher sentence. A first offense DUII charge carries a fine of $1,000, up to a fine of $10,000 in case of additional aggravating factors.
In case of a felony DUII in Oregon, the offender may face up to 5 years in prison along with a fine of at least $2,000. The judge may also impose administrative sanctions. A third time DUII offense in Oregon results in a permanent license revocation. It is advised to get in touch with a DUI defense attorney to defend the DUII charge.