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What happens when you're arrested for DUII?

By Matt McDonald
Published On: Nov 09 2012 01:54:30 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 09 2012 08:18:56 PM CST

In a NewsChannel 21 special report, Matt McDonald goes through the process of arrest and jailing on drunk driving charges, to show us what it's like.

BEND, Ore. -

It's five o'clock, the work day is over and like so many in Bend, you head to your favorite brewery for a drink with your friends.

Those two pints of seasonal ale may have the same amount of alcohol as five bottles of Bud Light.

 You may not be as OK to drive as you think.

A DUII traffic stop starts like any other stop: lights flashing, the driver slowly pulling to the curb.  

From there, it's the officer's observations, everything from the smell of alcohol to how confused the driver appears when answering questions.  

A field sobriety test is next.  First, the gaze test, the driver simply asked to follow the tip of a pen with their eyes.  Next, the walk and turn.  Walk a straight line counting each step.  Finally, the one leg stand.

The results are not strictly based on performance, but how the driver reacts, how well they understand the instructions and how they perform each task.  If a driver fails two out of three, national statistics show there is a high likelihood they are intoxicated.

At the point of arrest, the driver is cuffed, the car impounded and it's off to jail.

After a series of questions and an explanation of rights, the driver is asked to take a Breathalyzer, to test the blood alcohol level.

But be aware: Saying no results in higher penalties than taking the test and failing.  If you refuse, the officer can also call a judge and ask for a warrant to draw your blood.

After a failed breath test, the driver is passed on to jail staff.  Frisked, searched, shoes taken and socks examined.  

After fingerprinting and mugshots, the driver is put in a holding cell and at last able to call a friend for a ride home.

First-time offenders that meet a myriad of qualifications, including no other pending charges, can enter a diversion program.  

That route will remove the DUII from the driver's record at the end of successful completion,  which takes a year.  

It's not cheap. The driver has to pay the court and other assessment fees around $700.  Twelve weeks of alcohol counseling will cost around $630.

 And some insurance companies will drop the driver automatically.  Insurance is available, but expect to pay quadruple what you were paying before you got pulled over.

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