Oregon’s Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) Diversion program provides eligible defendants an opportunity to have his or her DUII charges dismissed. The program consists of a one-year probationary period. During this one-yer period, the defendant must refrain from using all intoxicants (i.e., drugs and alcohol) except for: (1) prescription drugs that are used as prescribed, (2) over the counter medication that is used in accordance with the directions on the label, and (3) sacramental wine consumed as part of a religious ceremony. In addition to refraining from using intoxicants the defendant must complete certain obligations, which are listed below. The defendant must plead guilty to the DUII charge in order to enter the program, but, if the defendant completes all of the requirements, the guilty plea is thrown out at the end probationary period. This offers a great opportunity for those eligible to prevent having a DUII on his or her criminal record.
If you have been charged with a DUII in Oregon, you may be eligible for diversion if:
- The present DUII charge is the only DUII charge that you have pending in Oregon or in any other jurisdiction,
- You have not been convicted of a DUII in Oregon or any other jurisdiction within the past fifteen (15) years,
- You have never been convicted of a felony DUII,
- You are not currently participating in a Diversion program or any similar alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, nor have you participated in such programs within the past 15 years,
- You were not, in the same event as your current DUII arrest or in the past 15 years, charged with aggravated homicide or of murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or assault that resulted from the operation of a motor vehicle,
- No one was injured or killed in the event that led to your present DUII charge,
- You did not hold a commercial drivers license at the time of your arrest for the present DUII charge, and
- You were not operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest for the present DUII charge.
Requirements while in Diversion
In order to successfully complete diversion, there are a number of things that must be completed during the one-year probationary period. In addition to complying with all laws, a defendant in diversion must:
- Complete an evaluation with Quality Research Associates (QRA). For more information about QRA visit its website.
- Once your QRA evaluation is complete, you must complete the treatment program that QRA has assigned you to. Often times, health insurance can help cover some of the costs of your treatment program, so be sure to inform QRA of who your health insurance provider is so you can be placed in a treatment program that will accept you insurance.
- You must attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP). This is a one-time obligation and your VIP date is included on the paperwork you signed at the end of your diversion hearing. More information about Lane County’s VIP can be found here.
- If you plan on driving while in diversion, you must be properly licensed, insured, and have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. You may not drive any private vehicle that does not have an IID installed in your vehicle. A list of Oregon IID installers can be found here.
- If you are required to drive a vehicle as a part of your profession, you may drive that vehicle without having your employer install an IID. However, before doing so you must have your employer sign a letter stating that they have been notified that you are in a DUII diversion program and are required by law to have an IID installed in your personal vehicle. You must carry this signed letter, along with your valid reinstated or hardship license, at all times while operating the company vehicle.
- Throughout the diversion period, you are required to notify the court of any changes in your residential or mailing address. This notification must be given to the court within 5 days of the change, and can be done by simply writing a letter to the judge who signed your diversion order. If you have questions about who that judge was, call our office immediately and we will assist you in reporting the change of address.
Cost of Diversion
Diversion is not cheap, however it is much less expensive than a DUII conviction. It is important to keep this in mind, as well as the fact it offers a chance to have your DUII charge dismissed. It is also important to keep track of how much you must pay and to whom you will be making those payments.
- There is a fee of $490 to enter into the diversion program. This fee is paid to the Lane County Circuit Court, and payments can be made online or in person. A defendant found guilty of his or her first DUII is required to pay a minimum fine of $1,000 ($1,500 if the defendant had a blood alcohol content greater than .15).
- Quality Research Associates charges two separate fees of $150 each. The first is for the evaluation that a defendant must undergo, and the second is an IID monitoring fee. Both must be paid to QRA before a defendant will be referred out to a treatment provider.
- Treatment programs vary in regards to cost, but can cost as much as $75 per week. Many health insurance providers will help cover some of these costs, so be sure to inform QRA if you have insurance so they can try to find a treatment program that will accept your insurance.
- The required Victim Impact Panel costs $40 in Lane County (cost may differ in other counties). This amount is paid directly to VIP when you arrive at your VIP session and only cash payments are accepted.
- If you plan on operating a vehicle during the diversion period, then you will have to install an IID in your personal vehicle. These devices are leased from an installer. These leases vary in price, depending on the installer, but most typically are around $50 – $60 per month.
Termination of Diversion
It is VERY important that you stay on top of all of your obligations during your diversion period and that you comply with all laws. Failing to do so can lead to the court terminating your diversion. If that happens, then the guilty plea you entered as a part of your Petition to Enter Diversion will become effective and you will be sentenced on that conviction. However, not all failures automatically lead to such a result and many times we are able to prevent termination from occurring. When the district attorney’s office becomes aware of a possible issue, they will issue an Order to Show Cause. This will require you to appear in court and explain to a judge why you have had issues complying with the terms of diversion. If you know you a problem may arise or have received an Order to Show Cause, call our office immediately.