A person charged with Oregon’s Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) may be eligible for DUII diversion program. Generally one qualifies if: 1) he or she has not had a DUII within the past fifteen years; 2) the presently charged DUII did not involve an accident in which anyone but the person accused was injured; and 3) the person did not have a commercial driver’s license (even if that person was not operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time). If the court allows one into the DUII diversion program, the court then places the criminal case in abeyance. If the person then pays for and completes an alcohol or drug treatment program and stays out of similar trouble for one year, the court then dismisses the criminal case. So, the DUII diversion program is like doing one-fourth of the minimum penalty (we’ll get to that in a later lesson), while getting the case dismissed as a bonus. Other conditions apply; eligibility is controlled by Oregon Revised Statute 813.215.
Many challenging questions can arise when evaluating whether someone is eligible. These include:
1. Can a prior DUII conviction prevent someone from entering the DUII diversion program when that person was not represented by an attorney, and questions the validity of such conviction?
2. What is a “similar” prior program?
3. What does “rehabilitative” program mean?
These questions and many more must be addressed prior to the 30 day deadline to apply for the DUII diversion program expires. There are times when the prosecutor and the accused disagree over eligibility, and the case then proceeds to a court hearing where the judge rules on DUII diversion program eligibility. Where one files for DUII diversion and the prosecutor objects to his or her entry, and the person is trying to represent him or herself (as people occassionally do in DUII cases), it is time to obtain experienced representation to handle the dispute. The various issues which arise regarding DUII diversion eligbility will be individually addressed in subsequent lessons.