If you are caught driving a vehicle in Oregon with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, you will be charged with Driving while Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII). However, you do not have to fail a chemical alcohol test to be charged with a DUII. If the prosecutor can prove that alcohol affected your driving, you can still be convicted of DUI.
Oregon has an Implied Consent Law, which means that, if a police officer asks you to submit to a blood, breath, or urine alcohol test, you are required by law to do so. (You have the right to request that another qualified individual retest your BAC if you wish.) You are also required to submit to a field sobriety test if asked to do so. Refusing to submit is against the law and carries significant penalties including the loss of your driver's license.
If you have been arrested for refusing to submit to a test or for DUI, the best thing you can do for yourself is to speak to a qualified and experienced Oregon DUI lawyer. DUI law is convoluted, and a skilled lawyer will quickly simplify things for you. A DUI conviction can cost you thousands of dollars. You want all the help you can get.
When you are arrested for drunk driving in Oregon, the police will physically take away your driver's license and will give you a 30 day temporary permit. After those 30 days, the DMV will officially suspend your driving privilege for 90 days. This is often referred to as the "DMV suspension" or "Implied Consent Suspension" and is entirely separate from your court case. Even if you are found not guilty in court, your license will still be suspended through the DMV.
If you want to challenge your DMV suspension, you may do so by requesting an administrative hearing. The back of your temporary permit will tell you how to do this. You have only 10 days to request the DMV hearing. You may want to hire a DUI lawyer to help you with this.
If you are convicted of a first offense DUI in court, you face the following penalties:
Before the DMV will reinstate your driver's license following your suspension you will be required to maintain an SR22 filing with them. You can obtain an SR22 insurance policy and filing by entering your zip code below and completing the short form on the following page:
If your BAC was 0.15 or higher, you face a minimum $2,000 fine.
If a child under the age of 18 was in the vehicle at the time of your DUI, you face a fine of $10,000.
If you have been charged with a first offense DUII and you have a clean driving record and no criminal record over the past 15 years, you may qualify for a Diversion Agreement. You will probably want to talk to your lawyer about this option.
A Diversion Agreement stipulates various requirements, e.g., SR22 insurance, ignition interlock, victims panel, alcohol treatment, reinstatement fee, abstinence from alcohol, but if you meet all of these conditions, a Diversion Agreement can prevent you from being convicted of DUII. It will also protect you from jail time, additional license suspension, and large fines.
Note: You cannot qualify for a Diversion Agreement if you held a CDL at the time of your arrest.
As this is your first offense DUI, you may be eligible for a hardship permit, which would allow you to drive to and from work. There is a $125 nonrefundable fee just to apply for the permit, with no guarantee that your request will be granted. Click here for a Hardship Permit Application.
In order to qualify for the hardship permit, you will need your convicting judge to approve your request. You will also need to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you drive. You will be restricted to driving with an ignition interlock for the duration of your hardship permit, and for 1 year after your suspension is over. See more about this under the next section "Oregon and Ignition Interlock".
After a first offense DUI, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle in order to get your driver's license reinstated. You will be restricted to interlock driving for 1 year from your reinstatement date. If you remove the interlock device during that year, the DMV will re-suspend your driving privilege.
You will be responsible for all costs associated with the ignition interlock program, including but not limited to: installation, lease, and monthly service. If you cannot afford the ignition interlock program, and you possess a current Food Stamp Identification Card, you can request a fee waiver. To do so, you must go to an IID vendor that is contracted with the Addictions and Mental Health Division.
If you are convicted of a first offense DUI, you will be required to purchase SR22 insurance before you can regain your driving privilege.
Your SR22 insurance policy must be through an insurance company that is licensed to do business in Oregon. This insurance company will file an Oregon SR22 certificate with the DMV. The DMV will not issue you a permit until they receive this certificate.
You will be required to carry SR22 insurance for 3 years, so you will want to find a price you can live with. You can compare competitive SR22 rates by entering your information by click the button below:
Oregon DUI Laws - A complete overview of Oregon DUI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.
Oregon SR22 Insurance - Learn everything you need to know about Oregon SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your OR SR22 insurance.
Oregon DUI Lawyers - Contact one of our Oregon DUI lawyers today.
Oregon Alcohol Addiction Evaluation - We offer a complete listing of Oregon's approved alcohol addiction evaluation & treatment programs.