The DUII diversion program may be an option for people who qualify. If you successfully complete the diversion program, your DUII charge will be dismissed without a conviction or jail time. This is important because if you are convicted of DUII that conviction can never be set aside (expunged) and a conviction has lasting consequences in employment, housing, and other areas of life.
What is the Oregon DUII diversion program?
Diversion is a program that gives people the opportunity to get a dismissal of their DUII by completing court ordered treatment, a victim impact panel, remaining alcohol and drug free, and installing an ignition interlock device. (blow and go). Diversion is the smart option for most people facing a DUII charge if they are eligible.
Diversion is the only alternative to taking your DUII to trial or pleading guilty or no contest to the charge. Oregon does not allow plea bargains to lesser charges or other alternative resolutions.
If you enter, and successfully complete, the DUII diversion program, you will avoid most of the mandatory penalties (jail time, fines, and the additional year long license suspension among other things) required for a DUII conviction. Diversion is typically the choice of someone facing a DUII charge if they are eligible for the program.
Am I eligible for the DUII diversion program in Oregon?
You are likely eligible for DUII diversion if you can meet all of the criteria listed below:
(1) You have no charge of a DUII, or similar charge in any State, other than the charge for the present DUII, pending on the date you file the petition for a DUII diversion agreement;
(2) You have not been convicted of a DUII type charge within the period beginning 15 years before the date of the commission of the present DUII;
(3) You are not already participating in a DUII diversion program or in any similar alcohol or drug rehabilitation program (usually court or government ordered), other than a program entered into as a result of the charge for the present offense, in this state or in any other state on the date you file the petition for a DUII diversion agreement;
(4) You did not participate in a DUII or drug diversion or rehabilitation program, other than a program entered into as a result of the charge for the present offense, within the period beginning 15 years before the date of the commission of the present offense and ending on the date you file the petition for a DUII diversion agreement.
(5) You have no charge of an offense of a vehicular homicide or vehicular assault that resulted from the operation of a motor vehicle pending in this state or in any other state on the date you file the petition for a DUII diversion agreement;
(6) You have not been convicted of a vehicular homicide or vehicular assault within the period beginning 15 years before the date of the commission of the present offense and ending on the date you file the petition for a DUII diversion agreement;
(7) You did not hold a commercial driver privileges at the time of the offense;
(8) You were not operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the offense; and
(9) The present DUII offense did not involve an accident resulting in death of any person or physical injury to any person other than yourself;
(10) You have not been convicted of a felony DUII / DUI / DWI in Oregon or anywhere else.
Entry into diversion does not affect the implied consent license suspension (the suspension that was given to you on a yellow paper when you were arrested) that may have been imposed for a breath or blood test failure or refusal. A challenge to this suspension must be done in a separate and earlier proceeding. Likewise, entry into diversion does not affect other criminal charges (such as hit and run, reckless driving, or criminal mischief). However, many DAs will dismiss other charges and violations to encourage you to enter diversion.
What am I required to do in order to complete the diversion program for my DUII?
- In order to successfully complete your DUII diversion program, you must do each of the following:
- Complete and alcohol and drug assessment. (commonly called an alcohol evaluation);
- Complete any treatment required by the assessment. (often 12 weeks of classes or more);
- Attend a one-time victim impact panel.(may be online);
- Pay fees, assessments, and other costs to the court, to the evaluator, and to the treatment provider.;
- Cannot consume intoxicants (alcohol / non-prescribed drugs) during the one-year diversion period;
- Install an ignition interlock device (blow and go) on any vehicle you drive during the one-year diversion period (unless you qualify for an exception for an employer owned vehicle or due to a medical condition). This period may be shortened to as little as six months under some conditions. The DMV rules in this area are very confusing so it is important that you understand what is required of you.
How much does the diversion program cost?
- $490 in fees to the court (a payment plan is available) (ORS 813.240);
- $150 - $225 for the alcohol / drug assessment (also known as the evaluation) and monitoring of your diversion;
- $50 for the victim impact panel;
- Fees for each of the alcohol / drug treatment classes which will vary (your health insurance may cover this);
- Fees for the urine tests;
- Fees for the ignition interlock device if you intend to drive during your one-year diversion period.
The treatment fees will vary depending on which state certified treatment provider you select and the length of treatment that you are required to complete. Note that the providers' fees vary widely so check with your health insurance for possible coverage and call around.
Do the diversion program requirements vary from county to county in Oregon?
No. The DUII diversion program is governed by Oregon Revised Statutes, so the requirements are the same whether you're in Dallas, Salem, Albany, Corvallis, Newport, Lincoln City, McMinnville, Etc.. Each county uses their own evaluators. Treatment providers follow State of Oregon guidelines.
Is completing the diversion program the same as a conviction?
No. If you successfully complete the Oregon DUII diversion program, the DUII charge is dismissed and no conviction results. However, if diversion is terminated for failing to comply with the program requirements a conviction is automatic. Your driving record will reflect the diversion even after the program has been completed and the charge is dismissed.
How long is the diversion program in Oregon?
The diversion program lasts exactly one year in Oregon. In some instances, people may be allowed a six-month extension to complete the program requirements. Military members may also apply for an extension under certain circumstances.
Will I be in treatment for a year if I enter the diversion program?
That is unlikely. The treatment portion of diversion is often completed in 12 weeks or so. ADES / ADSS will refer you to either DUII Rehabilitation Program or DUII Education Program (a shorter program). In either program you will be required to show at least 90 days of abstinence from alcohol and non-prescribed drugs. Urine tests (UA's) are used to ensure compliance with this abstinence requirement.
Substance abuse treatment must be with an out-patient program. Programs completed while in a "controlled environment" such as residential treatment, in-house, in-patient, or treatment obtained while incarcerated do not meet the requirements to obtain a DUII Treatment Completion Certificate.
Can I do my alcohol classes / treatment online?
The ongoing emergency orders from the governor during Covid may impact the answer to the question and need to be checked often. There is no state certified online alcohol / drug treatment class in Oregon. During COVID, some treatment providers conduct classes using tele-health. Urinalysis is still required.
Will I have to install an ignition interlock device in my car if I enter diversion?
Almost always yes. The DUII diversion program requires the installation of an ignition interlock device during the one year diversion period under most circumstances. If you have a controlled substance DUII, or blow below a .08, you may be able to avoid this requirement but a judge has the discretion to decide. The jurisdiction you are in will largely drive the answer to this question.
If you have the device installed for at least six months and have no failures / lockouts you may be able to have the device removed early. Consult your attorney about applying for early termination.
What happens if my IID detects alcohol or otherwise generates a "negative report?"
A negative report can result in the court terminating you from diversion for violating your abstinence requirement. Often a single violation will not result in termination; however, two or more violations will usually result in having a hearing where you will have to show cause why you should not be terminated from diversion. At a minimum, you will not be able to remove the IID early. If you are allowed to stay in the diversion program, the court may order you to restart or retake treatment.
Can I choose where I do my treatment classes?
Yes, so long as the treatment provider is a "DUII Service Provider" (DSP) approved by the Health Systems Division of the Oregon Health Authority (translation, you can go to any state certified DUII treatment provider). ADES / ADSS cannot force you to go to a certain provider. The DUII Services Provider conducts their own assessment and then provides education and sometimes individualized treatment services. They also report your progress to ADES / ADSS.
Will an Oregon DUI diversion go on "my record?" Will diversion show up on a background check?
A diversion will go on your Oregon driving (DMV) record as a DUII diversion (not as a conviction). The entry is made as soon as you enter diversion. Oregon does not use a point system so points are not assessed. In Oregon, DUI diversions and DUI convictions cannot be expunged or sealed or otherwise taken off your "record."
What happens if I don't complete the diversion program?
Oregon law requires participants to plead guilty or no contest to enter the diversion program. Therefore, if you are terminated from diversion (flunk out) you will be convicted of the DUII and sentenced. You will have to do treatment again from the beginning; pay a large fine; and go to jail or do community service. You will also be placed on probation and have your right to drive in Oregon suspended for at least one year.
If I enter the diversion program will my (implied consent) suspension for failing or refusing a breath or blood test be rescinded, shortened, withdrawn, or cancelled?
No. Entry into diversion has no affect on your implied consent license suspension (the suspension for failing or refusing the breath / blood / urine test). However, successful completion of diversion means that you will receive no additional one year license suspension for a DUII conviction. Remember that the implied consent suspension and the DUII charge are separate issues.
Contact an experienced attorney from Vidrio & Jarvis today to help guide you through the diversion process.