Traffic Arrests Leave a Permanent Mark on Innocent Drivers

Interview with Ed Caleb, District Attorney for Klamath County. Ed is a strong advocate for the people of Klamath County who has put our county on the cutting edge in dealing with many issues that are affecting citizens not just in the Klamath Basin, but across the state.

  • During his tenure as District Attorney, Ed Caleb has been responsible for forming: Citizens for Safe Schools, the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, the Elder abuse Task Force and has gained statewide and national notoriety for his aggressive attack on Methamphetamine’s through the Methamphetamine Task Force.

Currently, Ed has also taken an interest in the topic we are discussing today:

DUI laws in Oregon do not allow traffic arrests to be expunged!—regardless of whether you are found guilty, innocent or even if your case is NEVER TAKEN TO COURT!

Following information is taken from an article by Susan Goldsmith in The Oregonian, 2/24/08

  • When a traffic arrest is made—such as for suspicion of DUII or for reckless driving, it stays there forever—even if they are never prosecuted; and even if they are tried and there is no conviction!
  • Yet you can be found GUILTY of such crimes as burglary, attempted kidnapping and others –and you can have those convictions erased through expungement.

 

  • Frequency of this occurrence is difficult to determine, because of the many jurisdictions and different courts that are involved. But according to the article—in 2005, there were 1,700 more arrests for DUII than there were convictions in state courts.
  • Consequences of these arrests:
    • You have to report that you have an arrest on your record when applying for jobs!
    • You could be fired from a job—Example: Kid who got a job with the Oregon Lottery. One month later, he was arrested on suspicion of DUII. However, he blew zero on a breath test and a urine sample was found negative for drugs. No charges were filed — but two weeks later, the Lottery fired him because they said he was required to notify them of his arrest. He didn’t know that a mistaken traffic arrest was a reportable offense.
    • A registered nurse from Corvallis was arrested on suspicion of DUII—but he blew ZERO and had no drugs in his system. No charges were filed! But he has to report to the nursing board that he was arrested when he gets his nursing license renewed.
    • Oregon court of appeals says that if you have one of these arrests—without a conviction, a judge can give you a stiffer sentence than those given to someone who has no prior arrest on their record. Remember, this is even if you were innocent.
    • Even Mothers Against Drunk Drivers finds Oregon’s law to be unfair.