What Are Successful Defenses For A DUII Charge?
Interviewer: How can someone win a DUII case?
Was the Defendant’s Rights Violated? Can the Prosecutor Prove Each Element beyond a Reasonable Doubt?
John Reade: One way is if the officer violated the person’s federal and or state constitutional rights, and as a result of that, certain evidence that is important to the prosecutor can be suppressed. Suppressed means that evidence and/or testimony cannot be used against the person in any hearing or trial.
The second way is if the prosecutor is simply unable to prove each element of a driving under the influence charge beyond a reasonable doubt. That could be due to either to the prosecutor not having enough evidence (i.e. no field sobriety tests, etc.); the officer making some significant mistakes; or the person having credible witnesses that contradict what the officer is claiming or saying (i.e. the officer says the person was intoxicated but one or more witnesses say the person was not intoxicated).
Case History: DUII Cases in Oregon
Interviewer: Are there any particular DUII cases that you would like to share?
Defending Whether Or Not a Driver Was Intoxicated When They Were Driving
John Reade: I had one fairly recent DUII trial, where the person was charged with driving under the influence. The issue was could the prosecutor prove that at the time the person was driving their vehicle that they were under the influence of alcohol.
The reason that became an issue is because my client and witnesses were able to testify in court and say that after the person got home they consumed a fair amount of alcohol. The police officer did a DUII investigation of my client after my client got home and consumed alcohol at his home. Therefore, at the time, he was driving his vehicle, and was involved in an accident.
The prosecutor could not prove that at the time he was driving and involved in the accident that he was intoxicated at that particular point and time.
In Addition to Jail and/or Probation, There Are Numerous Costs Associated with a DUII Conviction, Including Fines, An Ignition Interlock Safety Device Installation and an Alcohol Evaluation and A Treatment Program
Interviewer: Is there anything in particular that you’d like to add to this?
John Reade: Typically in Oregon, if a person is convicted of driving under the influence, not only will there be jail time or other custodial programs, but the person will also have to pay a fine. Their license will be suspended by the court or a judge. If the person wants to drive legally they will have to get and pay for a hardship permit, and they will have to pay for the installation of an ignition interlock safety device on any vehicle they drive, and also pay a monthly fee for that device.
They will also have to pay for an alcohol evaluation and complete an alcohol treatment program.
The Ignition Interlock Device May Be Required for a Year or More
Interviewer: How long does someone have to maintain the ignition interlock safety device?
John Reade: If they have a driving under the influence diversion, which is for one year, then they will have to have it for one year or during their driving under the influence diversion period. If they are convicted, and their license is suspended by the court for one year, then they will have to have it installed for that one year, and also for an additional year after their suspension ends.
There is a fee to install the ignition interlock safety device in your vehicle, as well as on any vehicle you drive, and there is a monthly fee.
There Are Penalties for Using Alcohol and Driving with the Ignition Interlock Device
Interviewer: How can someone violate the use of the device? What happens if someone were to violate it?
John Reade: If the person is on diversion a prosecutor could argue that if the person violates the use of the ignition interlock safety device that their DUII diversion should be terminated. If a person is convicted of driving under the influence and they are on probation, a prosecutor could argue a violation involving the ignition interlock safety device should also result in a violation of the person’s probation.