Happy holidays from Mastanduno Law Group!  During this jolly season, we hope that everyone safely enjoys their holiday parties. Along with the icy weather, being tempted by booze and becoming overconfident about your driving ability compounds the hazards during this time of year. We hope you have a great season, and hope that the egg nog gets you into a relaxed and merry spirit, without the trouble it can cause.

Beware of Alcohol Levels

The ABV, or alcohol by volume percentage, is an important number to note when consuming a beverage. These are listed on the can or bottle of alcohol, but not in that cup of your aunt’s homemade mulled wine. Oregon is known for its great selection of craft beers, but the definition of beer changes according to the law. Oregon beers are generally “a malt beverage with less than 6% ABV” but they also can be malt beverages up to 14% ABV which include beers, ales, and stouts (nabsco.org). We often consider ale and stout as beer, but these beverages rack up almost double the alcohol content as we usually think of with beers. They also are very prevalent during the holidays because of their tasty flavors and heaviness that keeps you warm (like a nice oatmeal stout).

Implied Consent and DUII Consequences

The state of Oregon maintains an implied consent law, which means that just driving a motor vehicle implies that you will take a breath, blood or urine test if a police officer requests you to do so (Oregon DMV). If you do not comply, it may be used as evidence in court. The blood alcohol limit is 0.08 for drivers 21 years or older, and any alcohol level for someone younger is enough to constitute a DUII.

After a DUII is issued, the officer will replace your Oregon license with a 30 day temporary driving permit which also includes your implied consent report (oregonduii.com). On this report, there is a small section labeled “Hearing requests” that further outlines the options for this offense. The 10th day from your arrest marks the deadline for your written hearing request. The court appearance is mandatory. If you refuse to comply, an arrest warrant will be ordered. An attorney may appear in your place, depending on the county.  First time DUII offenders can benefit from the presence of an attorney, but habitual offender cases will definitely need one to sort through the vast charges. Depending on the results of the breath test and your cooperation with the officer, a conviction might result in a longer license suspension, starting at a year, and worst case scenario, permanently. DUII’s can be confusing because the outcome depends on many factors.  The nature of the interaction between the officer and the offender will vary. Other circumstances, like the individual’s driving record, dictate the sentencing of the offender.

This holiday season, don’t take the risk. Drive safely, or get someone else to drive. Happy Holidays from all of us at the Mastanduno Law Group!

*An alternative to driving is Broadway Cab. They are open 24/7 including holidays, and you can reach them at 503-868-5480. (North Valley)