What is diversion and is there a way to avoid a DUII conviction?

DUII Diversion is a program that allows eligible persons to avoid a DUII conviction and the accompanying court penalties if they are able to complete the program requirements. If successfully completed, diversion would result in the dismissal of the DUII charge at the end of one year.

Diversion Eligibility and Ineligibility

The eligibility requirements for DUII Diversion are set out in ORS 813.215. A person arrested for a first-offense Oregon DUII may be eligible UNLESS:

  • On the date you file to enter diversion, you have another charge, other than the charge for the present offense, pending for: (a) driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI) under 813.010 or the statutory counterpart in another jurisdiction, (b) a DUII offense in another jurisdiction that involved impaired driving due to the use of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance, an inhalant or any combination thereof, (c) a driving offense in another jurisdiction that involved operating a vehicle while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) above that jurisdiction’s permissible BAC;
  • You are participating in, or in the last fifteen years have participated in, a diversion or alcohol rehabilitation program; or
  • Within the last fifteen years you have been charged or convicted of any degree of manslaughter, murder, criminally negligent homicide, assault involving the use of a motor vehicle or driving under the influence of intoxicants; or
  • You held a commercial driver license on the date of the commission of the offense;
  • You were operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense;
  • The present DUII offense involved an accident resulting in a death or physical injury to another person; or
  • You fail to appear at your arraignment without good cause.

DUII Diversion applies only to DUII charges. It is not available to other charges brought, even in the same case. If there are other charges, in addition, to the DUII, those cases will proceed separately. Punishment for the underlying DUII charges is automatic if a person starts DUII Diversion and fails to complete it properly.

Impact on insurance

Diversion will probably help you with your insurance rates, although you might still expect your rates to increase 20%. In some cases, if you have a long history with your insurance company it is possible the rates won’t increase at all. Even if your Oregon DUII charge results in the successful completion of Oregon DUI Diversion, a diversion will appear on your driving record, and your insurance company might treat you as if you have been convicted of drunk driving. Driving offenses, even those diverted, are not expungable.

Rob Crow
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Licensed to practice law in all State & Federal Courts in Oregon.
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