Bend Police announced Monday they had made six DUII arrests in a 12-hour span between Sunday night and Monday morning. But that involved just four suspects.
Two of them were arrested twice in a span of six hours.
One of those two was lodged into the Deschutes County Jail and released before being arrested again. The other, for medical reasons, was taken to St. Charles after their first arrest then cited and released, but was lodged into the jail after their second arrest.
In both cases, police say both suspects were arrested shortly after returning to their vehicles and driving off.
A lot of you have asked how police were to catch them so quickly and why their vehicles were not impounded. We got the answers from Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller and from Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jason Wall.
How did your officers catch these two suspects twice?
Miller: “So when we arrest someone for a DUII, we typically lodge them at the Deschutes County Jail and then the jail makes a decision about when they release that person and how. In one of these cases, the person was not able to be lodged at the jail and so we took them to the hospital. And both of those people, our officers basically had reason to believe that they were likely to drive again if they were released. And, you know, sometimes it’s busy and our officers don’t have time to kind of hang out in the same place for a while. Other times, it’s quiet and they’re able to, you know, do paperwork and be in the same place. And so in both of these instances, our officers were near the vehicles when these people went back to their cars and tried to drive again while they were still intoxicated. And so they were arrested the second time.”
We asked the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office about the policies behind when a DUII suspect can be released from jail.
“From the time of initial contact to the time we release the custody of that individual to our adult jail, in some cases, can be 45 minutes,” said Wall.
“If they meet pre-trial release perimeters, they can be released. However, if they are still intoxicated, for their safety, a third party — a responsible party — is contacted,” he continued.
That means a person over the age of 18 must pick them up. And to be clear, those suspects can’t call an Uber, Lyft or taxi to pick them up.
The suspect who was taken to jail was driven by a third party back to his truck, where he drove again.
So, why not keep him in jail overnight?
“For the majority of people we contact regarding DUII investigations, this is their worst evening or afternoon on the roads. And sometimes it’s better if they are to be released to a third party — to a responsible party — to reflect and hopefully start getting their affairs in order,” said Wall.
Why were their vehicles not impounded?
Miller: “In DUII’s, Bend Police’s policy is if the vehicle is in a lane of travel — if when the person pulled over is in a place that would be a hazard. So a bike lane or in the lane of travel, just somewhere where somebody else could get in an accident or get hurt, we’re going to impound and tow that vehicle. If they’re parked in a parking lot or somewhere legally parked where they can get out, we can give the keys to someone else or something along those lines, we’re going to let them leave their car parked there. That’s our policy. And so in these situations, both of these people were parked legally and so they were able to return to their vehicles at a later time instead of those vehicles having been impounded.”
What’s the penalty when someone is arrested twice for DUII in a short period of time?
Miller: “Usually people who commit their first DUII, often they’re eligible for diversion and that’s up to a judge. When you get two DUIIs within five years, you’re typically subject to a three-year license suspension. The fines go up really significantly. Sometimes you have to serve time in county jail. You’re not eligible for diversion. Sometimes you have to do a substance abuse screening. You often have to do victims impact panels, all these things. And it costs a lot of money. And it just means that you’re not eligible to have your DUII taken off of your record or to get diversion. So that’s something really important to remember.”