Drunk Driving Affects The Environment In Oregon

Drunk Driving Affects The Environment: Drunk driving is the leading cause of fatality on American roads. Every 51 minutes, a drunk driver kills or injures someone. In 2019, 2,336 substance-related collisions killed 318 and injured 334 in Oregon. From 2018-2019, substance-involved deaths climbed by 1%. For the first time since 2014, drug-only fatalities declined by 17%, alcohol-only fatalities increased by 5%, and fatalities involving both reduced by 9%.

Poly-substance deaths have risen every year since 2014, rising 30% from 2017-2018. In Oregon, substance-related accidents climbed by 1% from 2017-2018. Substance-involved collisions rose by 6% in fatalities and severe injuries. In 2017-2018, substance-related fatal and serious injury collisions rose from 15% to 17%.

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They account for 25% of all fatal and severe injury crashes. Under Oregon DUII legislation, a person commits DUII if they operate a vehicle on public property when they are:

  • • Has 0.08 percent or more alcohol by weight in their blood, as proven by breath or blood tests; OR.
  • • Is drunk, high on drugs, or high on inhalants; OR.
  • • Is impaired by alcohol, an inhalant, cannabis, and a prohibited drug.
  • Prescription drugs that impair driving may lead to DUII charges.
  • Oregon has no DUI drug restriction. Even if within the limit, a person might be arrested for DUII.
  • • 21+ BAC.0
  • Under 21:01 BAC

Drugs That Impair Driving

Marijuana impairs attentiveness, sleepiness, time and distance perception, response time, split attention, lane tracking, coordination, and balance. Opioids weaken cognition and produce sleepiness. Marijuana is the second-most common substance in accident drivers’ blood after alcohol. THC, marijuana’s mind-altering component, is measured in drivers’ blood. It’s uncertain how marijuana affects collisions.

Drugs That Impair Driving
Drugs That Impair Driving

THC is typically coupled with alcohol and may be found in bodily fluids for days or weeks. Combining marijuana with alcohol, cocaine, or benzodiazepines increases accident risk. Studies suggest that drivers with THC in their blood are twice as likely to cause a fatal collision or be killed than sober drivers. After adjusting for drivers’ age, gender, race, and alcohol use, a big NHTSA research revealed no increased collision risk from marijuana. Needs further research.

Prescription medicines are also associated with drugged driving accidents. 19.7% of 2016 DUI drivers tested positive for opioids. 

Oregon’s DUII penalties:

First-time DUI in Oregon cost an average of $4,500 but may cost up to $10,000 if someone is wounded or killed. DUII is a misdemeanor or felony in Oregon. Misdemeanor DUII has a maximum one-year prison term and a $6,250 fine. Felony DUII carries a potential 5-year jail term and a $125,000 fine. In Oregon, DUII is a misdemeanor unless you have three previous convictions in 10 years.

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If convicted of minor DUII, your Oregon driving privileges may be suspended for one year, three years, or permanently. For life, if convicted of felony DUII. Many face additional charges related to DUII. Reckless driving, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and other offenses typically follow DUII and increase your risk. Careless driving, violating the basic rule, disobeying a traffic control device, and other infractions are penalized by a fine and very rarely a license suspension.

Drugs That Impair Driving
Drugs That Impair Driving

A drunk motorist may face manslaughter and assault charges if they kill or hurt someone. Below are samples of DUII punishments; however, penalties vary on past convictions and driving records.

First DUII misdemeanor:

  • • $1,000 fine, Minimum 2-day prison time.
  • • One-year license suspension (ignition interlock hardship driving permit may be available after the first 30 days of suspension).
  • • Ignition Interlock Device: 1-year limitation upon license reinstatement.
  • • Courts may substitute 80 hours of community service for prison or fine.
  • • Complete drug/alcohol screening and treatment.
  • • Attending victim impact seminars.
  • Alcohol assessment is mandatory.
  • • OR SR22 Insurance (evidence of financial responsibility)

Misdemeanor second DUII:

  • Minimum $1,500 fine.
  • • Jail: 2 days to 1 year
  • Three-year license suspension (ignition interlock hardship driving permit may be available after the first year of suspension).
  • • Two-year ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement.
  • • Complete drug/alcohol screening and treatment.
  • • Attending victim impact seminars.
  • Alcohol assessment is mandatory.
  • • OR SR22 Insurance (evidence of financial responsibility)

Misdemeanor third DUII:

  • Minimum $2,000 fine.
  • • Jail: 2 days to 1 year
  • • Driver’s license revoked (may file a petition in the county circuit court to have driving privileges restored after a period of 10 years).
  • • Ignition Interlock Device: 2-year limitation upon license reinstatement
  • • Complete drug/alcohol screening and treatment.
  • • Attending victim impact seminars.
  • Alcohol assessment is mandatory.
  • • OR SR22 Insurance (evidence of financial responsibility)

In addition to the foregoing sanctions, you may have to attend a Victim Impact Panel to hear from victims. Few individuals understand DUII convictions may affect insurance pricing and eligibility. A criminal conviction affects your capacity to get work for life.

If you kill or injure someone while driving drunk, you may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in reparations. Some DUII convicts never escape their debt, which affects their financial future.

Avoiding drunk driving

With all the ride-sharing and alternatives available, it’s hard to see why impaired driving is still a problem. However, drugs and alcohol impair judgment, so the best approach to prevent drinking and driving is to have a plan and adhere to it. Make a strategy before you party to prevent impairing your judgment. Also, avoid drinking and driving:

Avoiding drunk driving
Avoiding drunk driving

• Always pick a non-drinking designated driver. Uber, Lyft, and Taxis all work.

• Don’t drink alone. Order a soda or water. If you’re heading out alone, consider using alternate transportation.

• Don’t drink under duress. If you drink, eat, and drink water.

• If you’ve been drinking, call an Uber or Lyft.

• Avoid drinking drivers.

• If possible, take someone’s keys if they try to drive after drinking. The alternative is worse than their anger.

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