American roads are not always safe. Drunk, distracted, or careless drivers can all lead to auto accidents that may result in injury, fatalities, or property damage. Drivers who are DUI (driving under the influence) or DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants) are a serious danger to themselves and others on the road, and as such, they also carry serious legal penalties that may vary somewhat from state to state. A DUII diversion program, for example, may be an alternative to prison for drunk driver felons in the state of Oregon, and elsewhere, those accused of driving drunk, especially when fatalities occurred, can contact a DUI law firm to find a criminal defense lawyer to promote their case in a court of law. What, exactly, is a DUII diversion? How can one find DUI attorneys to represent them? How can criminal charges be settled in a manner fair and sensible for all parties involved?
Driving Drunk and More
Whether someone convicted of drunk driving faces prison, a fine, or a DUII diversion, it is clear that this is dangerous behavior, and many statistics have been gathered for rates of car crashes and injuries on the road, and why these collisions happen at all. Sometimes, these drunk drivers are not even old enough to drink anyway; drivers under the age of 21 make up 10% of all American drivers, but they are involved in 17% of fatal, alcohol-related crashes. And in the year 2012, as an example, some 10.3 million people had reported driving while under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year, and such drugs can impair a driver as much as excessive alcohol. If a driver’s BAC, or their Blood Alcohol Content, is at or above a certain level, that driver can be charged with driving while intoxicated, even if he or she did not get into a crash or hit a pedestrian. And if a collision did occur, that driver can be given criminal charges of both intoxicated driving and the collision and injury that were a result of that behavior. When a person is convicted of driving drunk, they may face a heavy fine and/or time incarcerated, although in the state of Oregon, a DUII diversion is another possibility.
A DUII Diversion
According to Nolo, a DUII offender may be qualified for a DUII diversion if that drunk driver’s current offense did not result in injury or fatalities of another person. Some other qualifications include that they have never before been convicted of a felony DUII, or is not already on a DUII diversion program. To enter this program, the defendant must also plead either guilty or no contest to the DUII charge, and in this case, the court will not enter a no contest plea, but instead will give the defendant one year to complete a DUII diversion program. If the offender completes this program, he or she will have all DUII charges dropped, and to do this, they must accomplish several things. For one, the offender will have to complete an assessment for drug and alcohol abuse and pay a $150 fee to the agency that administers this assessment. Also, the offender should complete whatever treatment program is offered to them and pay all costs for that treatment, as well as not use any intoxicants such as marijuana or alcohol during this time, and also provide the court with an up to date mailing address. The offender will also not have his or her driving privileges taken away.
However, the DUII diversion program might be failed or violated by the offender for several different reasons, such as if the offender is convicted of another DUII during that time frame, if he or she does not fulfill the agreed-upon terms in that time frame, or if they violate other terms that were set with the diversion program. If this happens, then the court could terminate the program entirely and it will also hold a hearing where the offender has a chance to “show cause” as to why the court should not end the program. But if the program is indeed terminated, the offender will face a DUII charge after all and will be sentenced without trial.