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BPD Releases 2023 DUII Stats, Discusses New Laws

BEND, OR -- Bend Police arrested 602 people for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants in 2023. While it's a slight decline from the previous year, it's still an average of around 50 DUII arrests a month. The majority occurred between midnight and 1 a.m. But nearly 40% were between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. And, 119 had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20 or above. A person is considered legally intoxicated witha BAC of .08. 

Fifteen people had a BAC of .30, which is too high to be booked into the jail without special clearance from the hospital. Numerous drugs were also identified during DUII investigations, including THC, Fentanyl, Meth, MDMA and cocaine. 

A new state law that took effect January first could make more drivers eligible for arrest. "House Bill 2316 expanded the definition of intoxicants, when it comes to DUII," Bend PD's Sheila Miller tells KBND News. "It’s been illegal to drive under the influence for a very long time in Oregon. But that was typically alcohol, and then controlled substances; illegal drugs, THC, that sort of thing. That has expanded to be any sort of intoxicant; anything that could impact your driving ability." She says that includes, "Anything you get over the counter, if you’re using it improperly. So, think about when you take a few too many slugs of Nyquil, or you have excessive amounts of caffeine in your system. It could really be anything that impacts your ability to drive, so that’s a big development."

There’s also a new law targeting organized retail theft, "It allows for a stronger possible sentence for that. That may be something that people have seen a lot of videos, or they’ve seen with their own eyes of people just walking out of stores with lots of merchandise. And I think that’s something that maybe will make a difference." Miller adds, "The law basically allows prosecutors to kind of consolidate charges and try a defendant in one county, even if they’ve hit the same retailer in a bunch of different counties." It also stiffens penalties for repeat offenders.

 

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