The Oregonian today shed some light on what brand of legal troubles could be facing Mary Volm, the onetime Portland City Council candidate arrested over the weekend on suspicion of driving drunk. (After, police say, she fell off her Vespa downtown and attempted to scrum with passers-by.)
Court records show Volm was arrested more than six years earlier, in February 2004, on suspicion of DUII and reckless driving. She pleaded guilty to the latter charge but was allowed to enter a diversion program on the drunk driving charge instead of pleading guilty. Diversion programs provide a way for defendants to keep certain charges off their record, in exchange for attending classes, performing community service and sometimes making restitution.
Interestingly, especially to the O,her attorney at the time, Stephen Houze, is now representing the stepmother of missing Portland boy Kyron Horman. Houze's office told me he's not representing her this time.
Diversion was a good break for Volm back then, but it's not available this time. Legal changes that took effect this year require anyone with a drunk driving charge wait 10 years before they can participate in diversion again.
Now, Volm faces a series of more stringent penalties, from community service to a couple days of jail time, plus probation and the suspension of her driver's license for a year. She also will be fined based on her blood-alcohol content—the fine increases along with the alcohol levels in the blood.
Like a lot of news-types around town, I've got a message into Volm to hear her side of things. But no word back yet. Volm is used to reporters calling, as the former spokeswoman for the Transportation Bureau, but this is a bit different.