If you're accused of drinking and driving, you may have a number of legal options laid out before you, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. If the incident is relatively minor and it's your first drunk-driving arrest, you could be eligible for a diversion program that would allow you to keep the offense off your record. But even "easy" options should be weighed carefully with the help of an attorney who can explain all of their ramifications.
Very often in cases involving drunk-driving or drug charges, defendants are able to avoid the full weight of a conviction and its maximum penalties by agreeing to participate in a diversion program. Oregon's diversion programs, which may require substance abuse treatment, attendance of a victims impact panel and community service, are designed to prevent defendants from committing the same crime again. In exchange for successful completion of the program, a defendant's conviction will be dismissed.
As many people who have been accused of drunk driving know, you don't have to be an alcoholic to make a bad judgment call. But if you're convicted, that poor choice can stay with you for years afterward. In addition to possible jail time and fines, the offense will stay on your driving record and affect your insurance rates and your criminal record, not to mention your personal reputation.