What is Oregon DUI diversion? How long or how many weeks is the diversion program? Can I drink alcohol on diversion? How much does diversion cost?
Oregon DUI Diversion Program is great for qualified individuals who want to quietly and easily take care of their DUI. To be eligible for diversion you must meet a certain set of requirements. Most first-time offenders are eligible, but notably excepted are people who have commercial drivers licenses. The laws regarding diversion eligibility have recently changed. Under the old laws, a person was eligible if they had not completed a diversion program within the past 10 years. Today, the new law says that you are eligible only if you have not undergone a previous diversion program in the past 15 years. Additional disqualifying considerations include whether someone was injured as a result of the DUI incident or the defendant has participated in a court ordered drug or alcohol treatment program in the past.
The diversion program is a program of education and counseling. To successfully complete diversion, a person must attend a victim impact panel, take an alcohol evaluation, go to recommended treatment classes, and pay a host of fees. Other requirements include not driving without a valid license, not driving after having any alcohol, not committing any traffic crimes, and generally obeying the law. The victim impact panel is a one-time class that is typically given at a hospital. There, you will see some gruesome images and hear from people whose lives have been adversely affected by drunk drivers. The alcohol evaluation is another one-time item that must be completed. A county evaluator will review your police reports, your DMV driving record, and have an in person interview with you to determine how serious your treatment needs to be. At a minimum, the lightest treatment schedule anyone can receive is to demonstrate 90 days of sobriety. As of January 2012, there is an additional requirement of the Oregon Diversion Program. The participant must have an ignition interlock device installed in their car and operable for any driving that occurs during the one year DUI Diversion period.
Diversion operates differently in every county as far as the nuts and bolts of getting through the process and into the program. We have successfully entered individuals into diversion programs in every major Oregon county, including Washington County, Clackamas County, Multnomah County, Hood River County, and Marion County. Furthermore, we have experience in many of the city (or “municipal”) courts that operate within these counties. Finally, you should note that the diversion period in Oregon lasts a full year. At the end of the year, if you have successfully completed the requirements of the program, then your lawyer can have the original DUI charge dismissed as if it never happened.
It is legal for you to drive while you are in diversion. However, there is a zero-tolerance policy of drinking and driving while in diversion. Any alcohol while you are behind a wheel is too much. Furthermore, you must completely abstain from alcohol use while you are doing the “sobriety” portion of your treatment (typically at least 90 days). The diversion application fees total $492, and this amount can be paid on a payment plan with the court. The victim impact panel typically costs $50 and the alcohol evaluation costs $150. There are additional costs for the treatment program. We know a few ways to save you money on the treatment end of things. Give us a call to make an appointment and we will make the diversion process very smooth for you.