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James O'Rourke - Criminal defense lawyer Portland Oregon

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Measure 73 Passes By Wide Margin – Persons with 2 DUII Convictions within 10 Years of the Date of a New DUII Citation will be Charged with a Felony DUII

Ballot Measure 73 passed with 57 percent of the vote on November 2, 2010. The Measure, which, among other things, expands those subject to the charge of Felony DUII, will go into effect 30 days after the election; December 2, 2010.

Measure 73 makes DUII a felony if a person has two prior DUII convictions within ten years of the current offense.  The measure also mandates a minimum 90 day jail sentence for all persons convicted of felony DUII.

The measure was opposed by most newspaper editorial boards because of the cost of the measure at a time when the state has a three billion dollar budget deficit. The Secretary of State estimates that the measure will cost an additional 1.4 million the first year and that could balloon to as much as 29.1 million in the fourth year and every year thereafter.

Frankly, I believe the costs are underestimated. The number of people who receive a third DUII in ten years is larger than one might think. People pick up multiple DUIIs because they have a problem with drugs or alcohol that is out of control. It is not uncommon for people with alcohol problems to pick up DUII crimes in clusters. I suspect the number of Felony DUIIs will increase dramatically.

Most persons who receive a third DUII within 10 years do not need to be imprisoned to stop drinking and/or drinking and driving. Most are able to stop with the help of residential and/or community based out-patient treatment. Imprisonment is an extreme, expensive and somewhat ineffective solution to repeat DUII conduct. There are excellent in-custody alcohol and drug treatment programs, but the legislature has placed so many restrictions on entry into these programs that they are underutilized and underfunded. Plus, community based treatment is more effective in treating alcohol and drug dependency and preventing repeat DUII conduct.

As Oregon Felony DUII lawyers we work with our clients to prepare individual sentencing mitigation plans that help persuade judges that a severe punishment for Felony DUII is not necessary. More importantly, we help our clients break the cycle of multiple DUIIs.