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Agency calls for tougher drunk driving enforcement to prevent crashes

Accident reports are frequently examined to determine the causes of serious collisions. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a study on accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. Over 1,500 accidents from across the country were examined in an effort to learn more about these kinds of crashes. In nearly 60 percent of the accidents, the driver traveling the wrong lane had a blood-alcohol content that was above the legal limit in that particular state.

As a result of this study, the NTSB has called for greater enforcement of drunk-driving laws. One of the suggestions that the agency makes is for all states to require ignition interlock devices for all drunk drivers, regardless of whether it is a motorist’s first or subsequent offense.

Oregon is one state that already has such laws in place. Even first-time offenders are required to install the devices. Drivers need to blow into the device before their vehicles will start, and if alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. The devices may also check the driver at other random points during a drive, and will no longer be operational if the driver fails the test.

Those convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI) will have to pay for the devices out of their own pockets. This includes the installation, as well as the monthly monitoring fees that are associated with the ignition interlock. Drivers may be required to have the devices for as long as one or two years.

In addition to the installation of the interlock, motorists convicted of DUI face other penalties as well. Jail time and high fines may be potentially handed down in some situations. Motorists will also see their driver’s license revoked, which can make it extremely difficult for an individual to travel to and from work or run other errands.

If the individual is a repeat DUI offender, these punishments only increase. Mandatory jail sentences may be imposed, along with increased fines. The driver will also see higher insurance premiums, and the convictions may impact their ability to work in certain occupations.

If you are arrested for drunk driving, you need to understand that these charges are serious. Speaking to an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you learn about the defenses that may be available in your situation. Many people may never have been in any kind of legal trouble prior to this arrest, and may want to put the matter to rest as soon as possible. Each conviction will only increase the penalties that you may be facing, so it is important that you protect yourself at this time.

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Mark C. Cogan, P.C., of Portland, Oregon, represents individuals charged with crimes throughout Oregon, including central Oregon, northern Oregon, Pacific Coast communities and the Willamette River valley, including Clackamas County, Washington County, Multnomah County, Columbia County, Marion County, Tillamook County, Clatsop County, Lincoln County, Lane County, Linn County and Benton County and the cities of Salem, Lake Oswego, Gresham, Oregon City, Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tualatin, Milwaukie, West Linn, The Dalles and Clackamas.

© Mark C. Cogan, P.C., 2016 - 2017.