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DUI/DWI Information for Oregon

Driving under influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI) is an offence committed when a driver operates a vehicle after the consumption of alcohol or drugs or other intoxicants. Increased alcohol levels in the driver's blood lead to diminished mental and motor reactions, which, in turn, reduce the driver's ability to control the vehicle. This significantly increases the risk of the driver committing errors of judgment and often results in accidents causing severe injuries and even death.

In Oregon, as in the rest of the US, drunk driving is the single largest cause of motor vehicle related fatalities. Almost 40% of all fatalities in traffic accidents are the result of driver impairment by drugs or alcohol.

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REGULATIONS FOR DUI/DWI IN OREGON

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream. Even the smallest amount of alcohol in your blood can affect your reaction time and judgement. If you are over 21, if your BAC is over 0.08% then Oregon law considers you to be intoxicated. If you are under 21, driving with any amount of alcohol in your blood is an offense and you will lose your driving license.

Having an Oregon license automatically provides your consent to be tested if stopped by a law enforcement officer, while driving. This is the law of "implied consent" and can be used by the officer to test you if you are stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving, either through a breathalyzer test or by an actual blood test to check the BAC. Refusing to take the chemical test will result in your license being revoked for any period between one and three years, depending on your previous driving record. You may also be arrested.

Your license will be suspended or revoked, if you are convicted of DUI/DWI.

ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI FOR DRIVERS OVER 21:

If you are caught with a BAC higher than the upper limit of 0.08%, you may be subjected to criminal actions in addition to administrative actions. If the DUI/DWI incident you are involved in is subjected to criminal action, it is recommended that you get in touch with a DUI/DWI lawyer as they are experts at handling such incidents and can offer you the best advice.

  1. A first offense is treated as a Class A Misdemeanor. If convicted for a first offense:
    • Your license will be revoked for 90 days.
    • You will face a jail term of up to one year.
    • You will be fined a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $6,250.
  2. You may be eligible to drive using a hardship or probationary permit. This allows you to drive to and from work, to and from alcohol or drug treatment, or to seek employment. To find out more about the permit, call (503) 945-5400.
  3. A second offense within 5 years of the first offense:
    • Your license will be revoked for one year, if you have had a prior DUI or drug related revocation within the previous 5 years.
    • You will face a jail term of up to one year.
    • You will be fined a minimum of $1,500 up to a maximum of $6,250.
    • You may be eligible to drive using a hardship or probationary permit. This allows you to drive to and from work, to and from alcohol or drug treatment, or to seek employment. To find out more about the permit, call (503) 945-5400.
  4. A third or subsequent offense:
  5. Your license will be revoked for three years, if you have had two or more prior DUI or drug related revocations within the previous 5 years.
  6. You will face a jail term of up to one year.
  7. You will be fined a minimum of $2,000 up to a maximum of $6,250.
  8. You may be eligible to drive using a hardship or probationary permit. This allows you to drive to and from work, to and from alcohol or drug treatment, or to seek employment. To find out more about the permit, call (503) 945-5400.
  9. A fourth or subsequent offense within 10 years:
  10. This is a Class C Felony.
  11. Your license will be permanently revoked.
  12. You will face a jail term of up to five years.
  13. You will be fined up to a maximum of $125,000.
  14. In addition to the above penalties, if you commit a DUI offence while a passenger under the age of 18 and at least 3 years younger than the driver is in the vehicle, the maximum fine is increased to $10,000.

ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI FOR DRIVERS UNDER 21

  1. Oregon has a "zero policy" against drivers under the age of 21. Any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is cause for a DUI conviction.
  2. A driver under the age of 18 is subject to punishment in a juvenile court.
  3. Apart from these actions, penalties mentioned above for drivers over 21, may also apply to minors if they are convicted of DUI/DWI.

ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVERS

If you drive a commercial vehicle and hold a commercial driver license (CDL):

  1. If you are convicted for your BAC being higher than 0.04%, you will be barred from driving for at least one year.
  2. You will be barred from driving a commercial vehicle for at least three years, if you are convicted for your BAC being higher than 0.04% while transporting hazardous materials.
  3. You will be barred from driving a commercial vehicle for life if you are convicted for any of these offenses for the second time.
  4. Apart from these actions, penalties mentioned above for drivers over 21, may also apply to commercial drivers for their first and second offenses of DUI/DWI. The other penalties do not apply since they are barred after the second offense.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI:

Under Oregon law, if you are arrested for DUI/DWI, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver license and issue a temporary 30-day driving permit, after which your license suspension comes into effect and the temporary permit is invalid. You may request a hearing and it is a good idea to consult a DUI/DWI lawyer before you request an administrative hearing

LICENSE REINSTATEMENT AFTER DUI/DWI SUSPENSION/REVOCATION:

The steps you need to follow to reinstate your license following a suspension depend on several factors, including the reasons for suspension and any other violations on your record.

Following your license reinstatement after suspension or revocation because of a DUI offence, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device fitted to any vehicle you will drive for a period of 6 months.

To find out exactly your requirements are, contact the Department of Transportation by calling (503) 945-5400 or licensing or writing to:

DMV Driver Suspension Unit

1905 Lana Ave. NE

Salem, OR 97314

In all cases you will need to pay a reinstatement fee of $75 and possibly other fees if, for example, your license has expired during the suspension period.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • DUI/DWI has been a major cause of death and injury in our nation and it is our duty to prevent such needless pain and suffering. Simply: If you drink, DON'T DRIVE! If we all follow this rule to the letter - thousands of lives will be saved each year.
  • If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI get help from a DUI/DWI Lawyer.
  • See also Suspended License, Point System and Traffic Ticket Lawyers.
 

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