woman getting pulled over at night by police

If you have been arrested for drunk or drugged driving, you probably have a lot of questions about what impact the charge will have on your life. You may also be wondering what steps you can take to minimize the disruption a DUII conviction can cause. Attorney Michael R. Hughes is ready to address your concerns and advise you of your options. 

Hughes is an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly represents Oregon residents and tourists accused of driving under the influence of intoxicants. Whether your BAC was found to be over the legal limit, there were intoxicants in your urine, you failed a field sobriety test, or the police administered one of these tests without probable cause, Attorney Hughes is ready to help you face the charges against you and move forward with your life. 

Below are a few questions Attorney Hughes is frequently asked by people facing alcohol and drug DUII charges in the state of Oregon. The answers provided are very general, and should not be considered legal advice. If you have questions about a DUII charge you are currently facing, you should consider setting up a meeting with Attorney Hughes to discuss your specific situation

What’s the difference between a DUII, a DWI, a DUI, and Drunk Driving? 

In Oregon, drunk or drugged driving is formally known as driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Other states call it driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating under the influence (OUI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). You may also have heard of a DUII referred to by a colorful or cute nickname that attempts to make light of this serious offense. No matter what you call it a DUII has the potential to change the course of your entire life. 

Is being under the influence of drugs the same thing as alcohol?

Oregon is one of several states that has legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. We have also taken steps to legalize the medical use of psilocybin and the possession of small amounts of other drugs. Because of these changes, law enforcement officials have expanded their patrols for impaired drivers to include drivers who are under the influence of intoxicants other than alcohol. 

From a criminal defense perspective, alcohol and drug DUIIs are very similar since they fall under the same statute, and Oregon law enforcement officials use many of the same tactics to identify drunk and drugged driving — typically field sobriety testing followed by chemical testing of your blood, breath, or urine. Oregon state law requires officers have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence before any test can be administered. 

Can I refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test if law enforcement officials suspect I am driving under the influence of intoxicants?

Taking a blood, breath, or urine test is intrusive and inconvenient, but it is not something you can avoid if you want to keep your license. Oregon, like most other states, has an “implied consent law” which requires drivers to submit to chemical DUII testing if a law enforcement official suspects they are impaired. Refusing to take a blood, breath, or urine test can result in the automatic suspension of your license. 

What are the penalties for a DUII conviction?

A DUII is a serious offense that can alter the course of your entire life. A conviction can result in not just fines or jail time, but the loss of driving privileges — which in Oregon means you will have a hard time holding down a job and supporting your family. The court may also order you to do community service, require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and forbid you from drinking alcohol or using drugs.

Even if you are not convicted, the consequences of a DUII charge are far-reaching. High school students can face in-school punishments like being kicked off of sports teams. Colleges may reject applicants accused of driving while intoxicated, or limit the availability of financial assistance. And prospective employers often do a background check that reveals DUII charges as well as convictions. 

Is my license subject to suspension after a DUII charge?

Oregon residents accused of driving under the influence of intoxicants often have their license suspended by the state DMV while their case is pending. Working with an experienced DUII attorney is critical if you want to stop this, or request a hardship permit that allows you to drive to and from work, or to things like medical appointments, rehabilitation appointments, and job interviews.

When charged with a DUI in Oregon, what should be my first course of action?

DUIIs are a serious criminal offense. They carry hefty penalties that may dramatically change the course of the rest of your life. As soon as possible after being arrested for a suspected DUII you should contact an experienced attorney like Michael R. Hughes. Attorney Hughes can help you protect your rights and your reputation.

An Attorney Who Understands Your Side

Attorney Michael R. Hughes is a seasoned criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of Oregon’s DUII laws. He has extensive experience defending Oregon residents and tourists against both alcohol and drug DUIIs.

Please contact him today to discuss your case.