Interviewer: So you have three offices right? One in Portland, one in Oregon City and Salem, So, are people treated differently, if at all, in those three areas when they’re arrested for DUI, or even the enforcement of it, do you see any differences?
Shannon: I definitely do. Especially when you head out to some of the other areas. Here’s a good example, like Tillamook County, if you get charged with a DUII, and it’s your first time, so say you have a passenger in your car, not only are you getting charged with DUII, but you’ll be charged with, this isn’t a for sure thing but in my experience, reckless endangering and reckless driving. So now you’re facing three criminal charges for essentially one act.
And if that were to happen in Wallowa County, you would be charged with reckless driving probably and DUII, but if you entered the diversion program you could get some sort of deal like a reckless set over where if you complete diversion successfully, they’ll dismiss the reckless driving at the end of the year, too.
But if you were in Tillamook County chances are that they are going to want to go ahead and convict you of the reckless driving along with the DUI diversion. So different counties in Oregon handle things completely differently. And then if you were, hypothetically speaking, some courts have, say you had a DUII and a possession charge, like you have methamphetamine on you or something illegal, and so some courts allow you to participate in a drug court program on that charge along with your diversion entry and some courts do not. And you’ll have to do some sort of… enter a plea on your possession charge because they don’t have drug court available.
Interviewer: So it’s not like the rural areas are more strict or the city ones are less strict, it’s just every county is different and probably every jurisdiction in Oregon treats the offenders differently, right?
Shannon: I even think that, not only is every county different, but within those counties there’s different judges that handle things differently or they are more likely to allow certain things and not allow other things.