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Motorists who commit a DUI violation in Oregon incur strict penalties so as to mitigate the negative influence of alcohol and drugs on driving habits and such offenses in the future. Per Oregon DUI laws, state courts and the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) administer separate punishments to drivers who violate these laws. These punishments can range from fines and driver’s license suspensions to jail or prison time.

DUI drivers license suspension periods are of varying lengths and the severity of other applicable punishments usually depends on the motorists’ age, as well as the number of prior offenses on his or her driving record. Find out more about Oregon DUI violations by reading the sections below.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Oregon

DUI and DWI violations generally lead to the issuance of a DWI citation that requires drivers to appear in court and settle their case as stated on the form. Licensees convicted of a DUI will face serious penalties in the form of license suspensions and other court-imposed requirements, such as possible jail or prison sentences and steep fines. OR DUI charges and the related punishments may be brought against the offender due to chemical test refusal or failure, as well as convictions of driving while under the influence of intoxicants (alcohol and/or drugs).

Oregon Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

The severity of DUI consequences in Oregon varies depending on several factors, such as the offender’s age, previous convictions on his or her driving transcript, the type of violation and more. Administrative penalties issued by the OR DMV upon violating the Implied Consent Law are less severe than court-imposed punishments, as they generally include license suspensions for shorter periods of time. The OR drunk driving charges and the applicable punishments governed by state courts are typically tougher as the presiding court may impose other requirements, including arranging payment for specific fines, installing an ignition interlock device (IID) or completing a jail sentence in addition to suspending the offender’s privilege to drive.

First DUI Offense

An Oregon first DUI offense leads to a 1-year driving license suspension. Other court punishments may include steep fines and possible imprisonment. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles getting a DUI for the first time will also incur a license suspension for 1 to 3 years, depending on the circumstances of the offense. Drunk driving charges and a 90-day license suspension is imposed on motorists who violate the Implied Consent law for the first time by failing or refusing a breath or blood test. Refusal to submit to chemical testing may result in a fine of $650, in addition to a loss of driving privileges for a year.

Second DUI Offense

A second conviction of driving under the influence of intoxicants will result in a suspension of driving activities for 3 years. Stricter penalties are imposed on commercial drivers convicted of a DUI for the second time, including a lifetime suspension of their privilege to drive. A separate punishment in the form of a 1-year license suspension may result from a second breath or blood test failure or another alcohol-related offense committed within 5 years of the first.

Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses

A third OR DWI conviction on your driving record will lead to a permanent revocation of your driving credential, as you will be considered a high-risk driver. Similar penalties, including potential jail sentences and fines, may follow for subsequent alcohol-related offenses.

Note: If your license has been suspended due to test refusal or failure, your suspension will take effect on the 30th day after your DUI arrest.

Drinking and Driving in Oregon

Oregon drunk driving offenses are a major cause of vehicle accidents resulting in bodily injury or fatality. As 40 percent of all traffic deaths within the state result from drunk driving, state agencies enforce strict laws to regulate drivers’ behavior and deter them from consuming alcohol and drugs before or while operating a vehicle. While drivers getting a DUI in Oregon for the first time may face lesser punishments, repeat offenders are penalized severely as they endanger the lives and safety of themselves and others on the road.

Oregon DUI Attorneys

Engaging the services of an Oregon drunk driving attorney is highly recommended, especially if you have more than one DUI conviction on your driving history. When hiring a defense attorney, make sure that you choose one who is well-acquainted with local and state laws pertaining to DUIs, as that type of lawyer will be able to prepare a defense that is most suitable to your circumstances. A good attorney will also provide you with an explanation about how to plead, complete the required documentation and help you keep consequences to a minimum. 

Oregon Open Container Laws

Per OR drunk driving laws, drivers can be charged for committing an alcohol-related driving offense if they are caught operating a vehicle with an open bottle, can or other types of alcoholic beverage containers on state roads and highways. In order to avoid DUI charges, drivers must place sealed or open alcohol containers in the vehicle’s trunk or in an area that is out of the driver’s reach. 

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Oregon

If you are completing an OR DUI drivers license suspension period as a result of failing or refusing to undergo chemical testing, you must initiate the reinstatement procedure to restore your driving privileges. The Oregon DMV and the presiding court generally impose specific requirements if you wish to finalize this process in a timely manner, including the following:

  • Pay the set reinstatement fee and other drunk driving fines (if required).
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility.
  • Install an IID for a period of 1 year for a first conviction and 2 years for a second or subsequent violation.
  • Present a certificate of completion from an alcohol treatment program.

Note: Drivers who have been convicted of a DUI for the third time and have received a permanent revocation may petition the presiding court to reinstate their driving credential 10 years after the date of their revocation, provided they have been sentenced to DUI probation without imprisonment.

Oregon Alcohol Awareness Classes

One of the consequences of being charged with DUI in Oregon is the requirement to attend an alcohol-related traffic school program. Drivers attending DUI classes will need to obtain a certificate of completion and submit it to a nearby OR DMV branch when reinstating their driving privileges. By enrolling in a course that is approved by the Oregon Addictions and Mental Health Division, violators can acquire a DUI Treatment Completion Certificate.

Oregon SR-22 Insurance

Presenting proof of OR DUI insurance upon incurring a driver’s license suspension is also one of the requirements to restore your privilege to drive. The required insurance policy, also referred to as an SR-22 certificate of liability insurance, must be filed with OR DMV timely and properly and maintained for a period of 3 years from the end date of a license suspension.

Oregon Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

Per Oregon drunk driving laws, charges and penalties will be brought against drivers 21 years and older who fail their chemical testing due to a blood alcohol reading of .08 percent or more. Stricter DUI laws will apply to motorists under 21 years old, as they are under the legal drinking age and can be arrested and convicted of drunk driving with any level of alcohol content in their body.

Harsh consequences will also follow for refusing to submit to a breath, blood or urine testing, which violates the Implied Consent Law. Drivers must remember that penalties issued due to failure to comply with the implied consent law are separate from any punishments that may arise from a court conviction.

Hardship License in Oregon

Once you have completed part of your OR DUI drivers license suspension time, you may be able to request a hardship license. The waiting periods will vary depending on the type of offense committed. To apply for a restricted license after a DUI violation, you will need to present the following documents:

  • A hardship permit application form
  • Payment for the application and reinstatement fees
  • An SR-22 form
  • Employment verification

Note: Contact a local DMV office in Oregon to check whether other documentation or eligibility criteria is required.   

Last updated on Friday, September 21 2018.

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