August 30th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Cops and Courts, Politics, CLEAN UP

Second Offense: Mary Volm Ineligible for DUII Diversion, Faces One-Year Suspension

Friday's DUII arrest of former City of Portland spokeswoman and unsuccessful City Council candidate Mary Volm provides a teachable moment on Oregon DUII law.

The first thing to note about Volm's arrest is that she is not eligible for diversion—a program in which a judge agrees to dismiss a DUII charge in exchange for completing a lengthy treatment program.

The reason Volm isn't eligible is because she was cited for DUII once before in 2004, when she was represented by powerhouse criminal-defense lawyer Stephen Houze (who is currently in the news as the lawyer for Terri Moulton Horman, stepmom of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman).

After Volm's arrest six years ago, she opted for a diversion program and had her DUII charge dismissed, according to court records. She also pleaded guilty to reckless driving and had a charge of reckless endangerment dismissed in that case. Her arrest in 2004 brought her an automatic 90-day license suspension.

Because that case happened less than 15 years ago, Volm is not eligible for diversion as a result of her arrest Friday. (The time limit used to be 10 years, but the Legislature extended the limit beginning Jan. 1 this year.)

Without a diversion option, Volm instead faces a statutory minimum of 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service, plus a one-year license suspension, if convicted of DUII.

Her fine, if convicted, would depend on her blood-alcohol content at the time of arrest, which is not yet publicly known. The legal limit in Oregon is 0.08 BAC. If Volm was below 0.15, she would face a $1,000 fine. If above 0.15, her fine would be $2,000. Volm has not returned phone calls from WW.

Photo of Mary Volm at her election-night party in May.
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