Driving Under The Influence in Oregon
Under Oregon Law, you commit the crime of driving under the influence (DWI/DUII/DUI) if while operating your vehicle on a public road you have:
- ORS 813.010
“Under the influence” means “impaired by alcohol to a noticeable or perceptible degree.”
This is an important part of Oregon DUII law.
It means you can be driving under the influence of intoxicants even if your blood alcohol is less than .08 if the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are impaired to a noticeable and perceptible degree.
Consequences of an Oregon DUII
Many people elect to take advantage of the Diversion Program. The diversion program is only available to those who:
- Have not had a DUII conviction or diversion in the past 15 years.
- Did not cause physical injury to another as a result of their DUII.
- Have not participated in a court ordered drug or alcohol treatment program in the past 15 years.
- Were not driving a commercial motor vehicle during their DUII.
- Did not have a Commercial Drivers License at the time of their DUII, whether they were using the CDL or not.
Diversion is difficult, but is usually better if the alternative is a DUII conviction. The diversion program includes:
- Complete a drug and alcohol evaluation to determine what your treatment requirements are. The minimum class is still substantial, often around 30 weeks of classes.
- Pay a diversion fee.
- Attend a Victims’ Impact Class.
- Install an ignition interlock device in any car that you drive. Some exceptions are available but very few.
For many the greatest benefit of the diversion program is that it does not have its own license suspension. Many people though may suffer a license suspension through the Administrative Hearing process described under the Implied Consent section of this website.
Those who do not qualify for diversion will face their first DUII. The “first” DUII is often the second if the person entered and completed DUII diversion on the first. The consequences of a conviction are significantly more dire than diversion.
Most people on their first conviction will be put on probation for 24 months. The conditions of that probation are:
- Complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.
- Complete a course of treatment as required by the evaluation.
- Attend a Victim’s Panel Class.
- Pay a fine of $1000 or more.
- Serve at least two days in jail or 80 hours of alternative community service.
- License suspension for one year.
- Use an ignition interlock device.
- Buy SR-22 insurance.
Same as first DUII, treatment will be more intensive, jail will be longer, suspension will be longer, IID and suspension periods are longer.
This is often a C felony. This means that you can serve up to 5 years in prison. It means your ability to get a job, pass a background check, own a firearm, or rent an apartment will all be affected. You will serve at least 90 days in jail. Your license will be suspended forever. There is some hope of reinstatement 10 years later, but it’s not a sure thing.
The law punishes DUIIs that occur under certain circumstances more severely than others:
- If you are convicted of a DUII while there is someone else in the car who is under 18 years of age and at least 3 years younger than you, the court can impose a fine of up to $10,000. ORS 813.010(7).
- If you have a BAC of .15 or higher on either a blood test or breath test when you are charged with a DUII the minimum fine is $2000 even on your first DUII. 813.010(6)(d)
What to do now?
Oregon DUII laws are very complex and they change all the time.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg. You really can’t face this without an experienced, professional, qualified attorney. Call the Barry W. Engle PC. We’re going to help you decide what to do. If there is a defense, we are going to find it. If there’s a program that can help you, we’re going to tell you about it. We’re going to take care of you.