Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always a serious offense. Not only is it against the law but it puts the driver and other road users at risk of injury. However, when minors are involved, the law takes impaired driving even more seriously. If you have teens living in your household, you need to know how an underage DUI is handled in Oregon.
If your teenager is charged with DUI in Oregon, contact an experienced Portland DUI defense attorney right away.
What’s Considered a DUII in Oregon?
Anyone driving in Oregon can be convicted of a DUII if they:
- Have a blood alcohol content of .08% or more
- Are under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, cannabis, and/or an inhalant
A person is deemed under the influence if their mental or physical faculties are negatively affected to a noticeable degree. However, for drivers under the age of 21, any amount of alcohol in the blood is considered to “under the influence”. A teenager can, therefore, be convicted of a DUII even though their BAC is well under .08%. This is because it is illegal for minors to drink or possess alcohol in Oregon. They can face both criminal and administrative penalties.
A teen who simply has alcohol in their possession can face a Minor in Possession charge. This results in a one-year driver’s license suspension if it’s a first offense. In some cases, the suspension can be lifted after 90 days. An MIP conviction also attracts a fine of up to $1,000. As you may expect, driving after drinking alcohol attracts even harsher penalties.
Many DUI cases involving teens are transferred from juvenile court to the adult court system. There, the maximum penalty is one year in jail, five years of probation, a $6,250 fine, and a one-year driver’s license suspension. A DUII conviction can have a long-lasting impact on a teenager’s life. It’s important that you contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Portland to fight the charges. Ideally, the charges will be dismissed, or the individual will be able to get their record expunged. However, this isn’t always possible.
Conviction or even a DUI charge can result in several consequences. Some high schools discipline students who get charged with DUIs and colleges often bar them from getting scholarships. Some even refuse to accept students with DUII charges on their records. Potential employers also look into applicants’ backgrounds and a DUII conviction can make it difficult to get a job. Not having a valid drivers’ license also rules out some jobs.
Why You Need to Hire a Portland DUI Attorney for Underage DUI in Oregon
Even though teenagers know that they shouldn’t be drinking, many still do it. Even worse, they get behind the wheel after doing so. If despite your best efforts, your teenager has found themselves in trouble, you need to hire a reputable attorney. Although you may see them as just a kid, the charges need to be taken seriously. Some counties treat drivers under the age of 18 as juveniles and they avoid some of the minimum penalties. However, it’s not guaranteed that your teen will get preferential treatment simply because they’re a minor.
Getting a lawyer will give them the best chance of avoiding jail time. If this is not possible, a Portland DUII lawyer will offer the necessary guidance and fight for the best outcome. Navigating the legal system is difficult and even though DUIs are a common offense, they need to be taken seriously. Now is not the time to try to save money or just hope for the best.
A skilled attorney will assess the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop, arrest, and chemical test. As they do so, they will look for issues they can challenge. If a test was conducted incorrectly or the traffic stop was unlawful, they will use it in their client’s defense.
Contact Trilogy Law Group if Your Teenager Was Charged with Underage DUI in Oregon
The laws on underage DUI in Oregon may seem simple enough but they can be very complex. With the severe administrative and criminal penalties in place, there’s a lot at stake if your teen is convicted. Even if they get into Oregon’s DUII Diversion Program, their driver’s license will still be suspended. If they have to attend a DMV hearing, they will need an attorney by their side. As soon as your child is arrested, contact our office so we can begin to work on their case. You’ll sleep better at night knowing their case is in good hands. At the Trilogy Law Group, we have a team of skilled, experienced Portland DUI attorneys. We will do everything possible to help your family. Call us today!