In Oregon, when drivers think about the state laws for driving under the influence, they undoubtedly focus on alcohol and so-called illicit drugs. In the past, drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine would trigger a drug-related charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants, or DUII.
To address concerns about DUII, state lawmakers made a change to the types of intoxicants that could result in a person being under the influence. The new laws went into effect at the start of 2024 and drivers who might have innocently taken a medication or other substance with ingredients that are considered intoxicating could find themselves arrested and charged with DUII.
Common substances could spark DUII under new law
If a person takes cold medicine or ingests any substance that has ingredients that might lead to impairment, they might face a DUII charge if they are stopped by law enforcement while driving. While over-the-counter drugs have warnings about possible side effects, most will function under the belief that if they feel well enough to drive, it is safe to do so without serious risk of impairment.
Still, a dosage mistake or a combination of substances the person was unaware could be risky could result in a DUII. According to law enforcement, this does not automatically mean people will be at greater risk for arrest. There are myriad factors that are considered when law enforcement investigates a possible DUII and makes an arrest. Clear impairment – regardless of the substance the person is alleged to have used – will generally lead to an arrest.
Know the consequences of a DUII and how to fight the charges
Regardless of how the DUII charges came about and what substances the person is accused of having in their system when they got behind the wheel, the penalties for a conviction can be problematic in myriad ways.
Lost driving privileges, hefty fines and incarceration are possibilities. Then there are the underlying costs such as a DUII on their driving record, raised insurance and the negative connotations that accompany it when trying to get a job or achieve other goals. There are options to fight the charges. This is particularly true with a new expansion to the law. Trying to find a positive resolution is key to avoid long-term ramifications.