Driving under the influence of intoxicants in Oregon is a serious offense all by itself.
However, it is not uncommon for individuals with DUII charges to also face additional charges such as reckless driving. Other charges could include recklessly endangering another person and various degrees of assault.
Proximity of offenses
Authorities arrest about 12,446 people in Oregon each year on DUII charges. Some of these people deal with other charges as well.
For example, DUII and reckless driving share a connection. DUII involves operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit or while dealing with drug impairment. Reckless driving, on the other hand, pertains to operating a vehicle with a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. Since impaired driving inherently poses risks, the overlap between DUII and reckless driving charges is evident.
Law enforcement officers, when making a DUII arrest, often observe behaviors that go beyond the possibly impaired state of the driver. Officials may add reckless driving charges when they witness possibly erratic driving patterns, excessive speeding or other dangerous maneuvers.
For example, running red lights or stop signs can show recklessness, as can passing other vehicles in no-passing zones, intersections or areas with limited visibility. Allegations of driving on the wrong side of the road are another example of what could lead to a reckless driving charge.
Enhanced penalties and strategy
Charging an individual with both DUII and reckless driving provides prosecutors with a strategic advantage. It allows for flexibility in presenting evidence and arguing the case. The combination of charges strengthens the prosecutor’s position.
Combining DUII with reckless driving can result in steeper consequences. People facing both charges may experience more severe penalties than if charged with DUII alone.