EUGENE, Ore. -- With many ringing in the New Year, a Eugene defense attorney wants people to know that the cost of driving under the influence of intoxicants is higher than many think.
Clayton Tullos, a criminal defense attorney, said the minimum penalty for a first time DUII violation is a $1,000 fine plus two days in jail or 80 hours of community service.
Tullos said along with those penalties, convicted drunk drivers can have their licenses suspended for 90 days. He also said depending on where you were pulled over, you may have to pay to get your car out of impound.
"There is no way for you to legally drive yourself to and from work," said Tullos. "To and from treatment, to pick your kids from school, to get groceries, there is no legal way for you to do that."
Tullos said one way people get out of a DUII conviction is by completing a court-ordered diversion course. He said the course requires people to get treatment and stay sober. But taking that course also costs money, and there are added expenses like having an interlock device installed in your car.
He said when you factor in the price of attorney fees and other expenses, the cost of a DUII can be thousands of dollars.
"You're definitely looking at $3,000 to $4,000 minimum to deal with a DUII," Tullos said. "Which is a heck of a lot more expensive than a taxi or an Uber, or catching a bus home."
Tullos said the penalties for repeat offenders get even more strict. He said people having three DUII convictions in their lifetime could have their licenses suspended permanently.