THE OREGON DUII GUIDE

 
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   "I've spent hundreds of hours working to make The Oregon DUII Guide the most comprehensive driving under the influence legal website in the nation.  I hope you find this information helpful.  If you need an experienced attorney to help you with an Oregon DUII arrest, I would be pleased to assist you. 

 

   "You can learn more about my background as an Oregon DUI Lawyer by visiting my website or calling 503.546.2928."   

-David N. Lesh

David Lesh author of The Oregon DUI Diversion Guide

 

I just got arrested for an Oregon DUII charge.  What happens now?

 

PART ONE:  Your Implied Consent Suspension:  The most pressing matter may be requesting an appeal / hearing of your implied consent license suspension.  Your license was most likely suspended for anywhere from 90 days to 3 years for failing a breath test or refusing a breath, blood, or urine test.  [If you were admitted to the hospital and took and failed a blood test, you may be notified about an implied consent suspension later through the mail.]  This suspension typically begins on the 30th day following your arrest.

 

If you would like to challenge this suspension, the DMV Hearings Case Management Unit must receive your request for a hearing no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day following your arrest.  If you represent yourself on this issue, make sure that you fax the hearing request or request a hearing online; do not mail your request as it may arrive late.  If you would like an in-person hearing be sure to mention that in your hearing request.  Otherwise, your hearing may be conducted by telephone (unless the arresting officer requested an in-person hearing).

 

Be sure to read the fine print on the back of your implied consent combined report / temporary driving permit especially the paragraph labeled Hearing Requests:

 

 

Contact attorney David Lesh at 503.546.2928 for additional information. 

 

Keep in mind that filing an appeal of this administrative license suspension does not mean that the suspension will be overturned.  Rather, it means that you have a chance to overturn this suspension.  The reason suspensions are most often overturned are:  failure of police officers to appear at the hearing; incomplete / inaccurate paperwork; and failure of law enforcement to turn in paperwork to the DMV (or turning in documents late).

 

If you do not hire a lawyer to contest your implied consent suspension, you should request and attend the hearing yourself.  In fact, only a small percentage of persons facing an implied consent suspension request a hearing.  Remember, the Hearings Case Management Unit must receive the written request to contest your implied consent suspension within 10 days of the date of your Oregon DUI arrest.

 

PART TWO:  Your Criminal Charge(s):  You were also likely given a citation (ticket) or a release agreement ordering you to appear in court for the crime of driving under the influence of intoxicants "DUII" (and perhaps other charges such as reckless driving, recklessly endangering another, criminal mischief in the second degree, and assault). 

 

Under Oregon DUII law, a person commits the offense of driving while under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) if the person drives a vehicle while the person: 

  • Has 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person as shown by chemical analysis of the breath or blood of the person; OR

  • Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or an inhalant; OR

  • Is under the influence of any combination of intoxicating liquor, an inhalant and a controlled substance.

You must attend your court appearance or a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.  In certain Oregon counties, if you hire an Oregon DUI attorney before your initial court appearance (arraignment), you may be able to absent yourself from this first appearance.  [Note on your release agreement the DUII charge may be listed as "driving under the influence 3" or "DUII 3."  This is just a regular DUI charge.]

Important:  These two issues are completely separate and have no affect on one another.  Visualize two separate boxes that do not overlap:

 

THE TWO PARTS TO A 2014 OREGON DUII ARREST

PART ONE PART TWO
‣  Implied Consent Suspension for failing or refusing a DUI breath / blood test.
‣  You have the option of contesting this suspension by requesting an appeal in writing within 10 days of your arrest.
  Whether you win or lose on your appeal of this issue (or do not appeal at all), it will not affect your DUII charge (though you may gain information in your hearing that could help in defending the DUII charge).
  ‣  Criminal charge / citation for DUII (and any other offenses).
‣  You must personally appear in court or a warrant will be issued for your arrest for failure to appear (sometimes your attorney can appear on your behalf).
‣  If you enter the diversion program, plead guilty to the charge, or win or lose at trial, it will not affect (lessen or overturn) your implied consent suspension for failing or refusing the breath / blood test.

 

Will my driver license be suspended?

RELATED TO ISSUE ONE ABOVE:  Your Oregon driver license (or your right to drive in Oregon if you do not have a valid Oregon license) may be suspended for failing―BAC .08% or greater (lower for CDL drivers and minors (persons under 21 years of age))―a breath or blood test or for refusing a breath, blood, or urine test.  The length of your suspension depends on whether you failed or refused a test and whether you have a prior DUII event in the past five years.  Refer to the table below:

 

HOW LONG WILL MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED FOR FAILING OR REFUSING A CHEMICAL TEST?

TEST FAILURE OR REFUSAL  LENGTH HARDSHIP WAIT
Breath / Blood Test Refusal 1 year 90 days
Breath / Blood Test Refusal - Increased¹ 3 years 3 years
Breath / Blood Test Failure 90 days 30 days
Breath / Blood Test Failure - Increased¹ 1 year 1 year
Urine Test Refusal (consecutive suspension) 1 year 180 days
Urine Test Refusal - Increased¹ (consecutive suspension) 3 years 2 years
Note 1:  Suspension lengths are increased if any of the following has occurred within the past five years prior to the current DUII arrest:  a DUII conviction; participation in a DUII diversion; or a suspension under implied consent law.

 

 

If you act quickly (typically within 10 days of your arrest), you can request an appeal of the proposed suspension for failing or refusing the test.  A hearing (commonly known as a "DMV hearing") will then be scheduled on your appeal request.  Contact an Oregon DUI attorney for more information.  If you had a valid Oregon driver license at the time of your breath test failure / refusal, you should have received a temporary permit that allows you to drive for the 29 days following your arrest  On the 30th day after your arrest, the suspension begins (unless your appeal is successful).  The DMV will not issue a driver license to a person whose driving record indicates a pending Implied Consent Law. 

 

RELATED TO ISSUE TWO ABOVE:  If you are convicted of the DUII charge, your license will be suspended or revoked typically for one year (suspension), three years (suspension), or life (revocation).  [Defendants who enter and successfully complete the diversion program are not convicted of DUII and do not face this additional suspension.]  Refer to the table below for suspension / revocation lengths for DUII convictions:

 

HOW LONG WILL MY LICENSE BE SUSPENDED IF I'M CONVICTED OF A DUII CHARGE?

OREGON DUII CONVICTION MANDATORY TYPE LENGTH HARDSHIP WAIT
DUII 1st Conviction Yes Suspension 1 year none¹
2nd Conviction w/in 5 years Yes Suspension 3 years 90 days²
3rd Conviction or Felony DUII Yes Revocation Permanent³ Not Eligible

Note 1:  A judge's signature is required for a hardship permit for a DUII conviction (not for an implied consent suspension).
Note 2:  You may not be eligible for a hardship permit on a second conviction within the past five years until you complete a treatment program.  This often takes 180 days or more.
Note 3:  A driver permanently revoked may petition the court for reinstatement after 10 years.

 

 

To get your license reinstated following a first Oregon DUI conviction suspension you must install an ignition interlock device for one year; show proof of alcohol / drug treatment completion; file an SR-22 (and keep it on file for three years); and pay a $75 reinstatement fee.

 

A driver also faces a suspension / revocation if convicted of other traffic crimes such as reckless driving, vehicular assault, or hit and run.  [A conviction for an infraction / violation (such as speeding) usually does not result in a license suspension.]  Some positive news―to the extent that suspensions overlap, they generally run concurrently and not consecutively (except suspensions for refusing a urine test).

 

Under certain circumstances, a driver can face a five year revocation of their license as a "habitual offender."  This can occur if a driver (1) is convicted of three or more specified traffic crimes within a five year period; or (2) is convicted of a combination of 20 or more specified traffic infractions and / or traffic crimes in a five year period. 

 

This habitual offender revocation does not happen in court.  Rather, a driver receives notice from the DMV in the mail some time after notice of their conviction(s) have been forwarded to the DMV.  Make sure that your DUI lawyer is made aware of any traffic convictions that you have received in the past five years (especially convictions for traffic crimes).

 

Also keep in mind that your license can be suspended for a variety of other reasons including failure to appear for court, failure to pay fines, failure to pay child support, etc.

 

If I beat my DUII at trial (in my criminal case) will my implied consent suspension be rescinded, shortened, or cancelled?

No.

What happens if I get caught driving while my license is suspended (DWS)?

 

A driving while suspended (DWS) charge can be either a violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony depending on the underlying reason for the license suspension.  [Driving while revoked (DWR) is similar.]  Someone who drives while suspended for failing or refusing a breath or blood test or for a misdemeanor DUI conviction commits the crime of misdemeanor driving while suspended. 

 

If convicted of misdemeanor DWS, a defendant faces possible jail time, fines, and probation.  There is a minimum $1,000 fine for someone caught driving when they are suspended as a result of a DUII conviction.  Your car may be towed as well. 

 

You will not be kicked out of diversion if you receive a driving while suspended ticket (unless you have alcohol in your system / possession OR don't have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle).  However, driving while suspended will violate your probation if you are on probation for a DUII conviction.  Driving while suspended arrests and convictions quickly get expensive.

 

The court does not suspend your license for an additional length of time if you are convicted of a violation or misdemeanor level driving while suspended (unless you have so many convictions that you become classified as a "habitual offender").  Note:  You will face an additional revocation of one year if you are convicted of a felony driving while suspended (FDWS) or felony driving while revoked (FDWR).

I really need to drive.  Will I be able to get a hardship permit?

A hardship permit may be available to you if your license is suspended and you had a valid Oregon Driver License at the time of your suspension. 

 

Hardship permits generally are not available for license "revocations" including the lifetime revocation resulting from a third or greater DUII conviction.  Hardship permits are also not available to persons with an out of state driver license. 

 

Keep in mind that there is often a significant "black out" or waiting period before you can obtain a hardship permit.  Refer to the table above.  The State of Oregon no longer issues hardship or probationary CDL permits.  See ORS 807.240(2).  Hardship permits are only available for Class C licenses.

 

Under Oregon law, hardship permits only allow driving for:

  • Occupational and employment purposes;

  • Occupational training or education that is required by your employer;

  • Transportation to and from an alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation program;

  • To look for work (for up to 120 days); and

  • To obtain medical treatment on a regular basis for you or a member of the your immediate family.

See OAR 735-064-0060.  A hardship permit will not be issued for more than 12 hours of driving on any one day, except for transportation to and from an alcohol or drug treatment program.  A hardship permit issued to look for work will be restricted to 12 hours per day, seven days per week.  It will not be issued for a period of more than 120 days at a time.

 

In order to obtain a hardship permit you must, among other things, obtain an SR-22 certificate of liability insurance which will likely have negative implications for your insurance rates or insurability.  If you choose to enter the diversion program on your DUI charge, you probably will not have to file an SR-22 to get your license reinstated unless you apply for a hardship permit.  However, if you are convicted of DUI you will have to file an SR-22 to reinstate your license anyway. 

 

Talk to an experienced DUI attorney before you apply for a hardship permit.  More questions about hardship permits?  Call the DMV at 503.945.5037.

What is the difference between a DUII, DUI, DWI, OWI, OVI, DWAI, OUI, OUIL, OMVI, DWUI etc.?

These terms are all acronyms that refer to the crime commonly known as "drunk driving."  Different states have different names for the charge.  For example in Arizona, California, and Washington, the charge is referred to driving under the influence or DUI.  Ohio law refers to operating a vehicle under the influence or OVI.  New York, Texas, Missouri refer to driving while intoxicated or DWI.  Massachusetts uses the term OUI.

 

In the State of Oregon, the exact charge is called "driving under the influence of intoxicants" or DUII.

 

Oregon does not have different types of DUII charges such as "Extreme DUII" or DWAI (driving while ability impaired).  Even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is quite high--such as .20% or greater--the charge is still the same (although a DUII conviction with a BAC .15% or greater will result in a higher fine and possibly a longer treatment regimen).  This website, and all the websites that have stolen copyrighted content from this website, use the terms DUI and DUII interchangeably.

 

Is a DUII a criminal offense in Oregon?

 

Yes, a driving under the influence of an intoxicant charge is either a misdemeanor crime or a felony crime in the State of Oregon depending on your DUII history.

 

How do I know if I'm charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUII?

 

In Oregon, a DUII is a misdemeanor crime unless you have two or more prior DUII convictions in the past ten years.  [Prior to December 2, 2010, you faced a felony DUII only if you had three or more felony convictions in the past ten years.  Refer to Ballot Measure 73.]

What type of penalties might I face if I am convicted of a DUII charge?

As noted above, a DUI in Oregon is usually a Class A misdemeanor crime.  Upon conviction, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties including: 

 

 probation (either formal probation, court aka bench probation, or enhanced bench probation);

•  jail time (ranging from two days to up to one year) for a misdemeanor DUI and lengthy jail (90 days or more) or prison time (13 to 60 months) for a felony DUI;

•  a license suspension / revocation of either one year, three years, or lifetime;

•  a fine generally ranging from $1,000 to $2,000;

•  additional fees and assessments of a few hundred dollars;

•  an alcohol / drug assessment ($150) plus treatment (costs vary);

•  attendance at a victims impact treatment session (this session, commonly known as a "victims panel" costs $50 or less)

 

For a second DUII conviction, the court may also suspend your vehicle registration for up to 120 days and / or impound / immobilize your vehicle for up to one year.  If you enter and successfully complete the DUII diversion program you will not face most of these penalties (see below).  If you are convicted of a felony DUII, you will face at least 90 days in jail and you may go to prison for one to five years.  Refer to the table below for more information.

 

OREGON DUII PENALTY CHART

OFFENSE / CONVICTION RANGE OF TYPICAL PENALTIES

FIRST TIME OFFENSE

  • Defendant typically will enter the DUII diversion program if otherwise eligible; if not eligible for diversion, see FIRST CONVICTION below;
  • misdemeanor offense.

FIRST DUII CONVICTION

  • 18 to 36 months probation;
  • 2 - 10 days jail;
  • $1,000 to $2,000 fine;
  • several hundred dollars in add'l fees;
  • one year license suspension;
  • substance abuse treatment classes;
  • victims impact panel class;
  • do not possess or consume alcohol;
  • no entry into bars and taverns;
  • drive only with valid license and insurance;
  • misdemeanor offense.

SECOND CONVICTION

  • 24 to 36 months probation;
  • 8 - 30+ days jail;
  • $1,500 to $3,500 fine;
  • several hundred dollars in add'l fees;
  • one to three year license suspension (three years if prior conviction was w/in past five years);
  • substance abuse treatment classes;
  • victims impact panel class;
  • do not possess or consume alcohol;
  • no entry into bars and taverns;
  • drive only with valid license and insurance;
  • misdemeanor offense.

THIRD OR GREATER CONVICTION
misdemeanor

(no more than one conviction w/in past ten years)
(no prior felony DUII convictions)
  • 36+ months probation;
  • 30 - 180 days jail;
  • $2,000 - $4,000 fine;
  • several hundred dollars in add'l fees;
  • lifetime license revocation;
  • substance abuse treatment classes;
  • victims impact panel class;
  • do not possess or consume alcohol;
  • no entry into bars and taverns;
  • drive only with valid license and insurance.

THIRD OR GREATER CONVICTION
felony DUII

(at least two prior convictions w/in past ten years or a prior felony DUII conviction)
  • 36 to 60 months probation;
  • at least 90 days jail (possible prison time);
  • $2,000 - $4,000 fine;
  • several hundred dollars in add'l fees;
  • lifetime license revocation²;
  • substance abuse treatment classes;
  • victims impact panel class;
  • do not possess or consume alcohol;
  • no entry into bars and taverns;
  • drive only with valid license and insurance.
Note 1:  Successful completion of the diversion will allow a defendant to avoid a conviction and obtain a dismissal of the DUII charge. 
Note 2:  You can apply for reinstatement after serving at least ten years of the revocation.  No hardship permit is allowed on a lifetime revocation.

I have a good driving record, is there anyway that I can avoid a DUII conviction and all the accompanying penalties?

Aside from taking your DUI to trial and winning, you may be eligible for a program known as "diversion."  This is  an attractive program for many first offenders.  Consult the Oregon Diversion Guide to learn more.

Will I be able to plea bargain / negotiate my Oregon DUI charge down to a lesser offense such as "negligent driving," "reckless driving," "reckless operation," "reckless driving involving alcohol," "wet reckless," "driving while impaired," or a "driving while ability impaired drugs?"

No.  While plea agreements of this type are common in some states, in Oregon this practice is prohibited by state law (see below).  Other charges, such as a reckless driving ticket, are subject to plea negotiations, charge reduction or dismissal.

ORS 813.170 Plea agreement prohibited.

(1) [A] person charged with the offense of driving under the influence of intoxicants shall not be allowed to plead “guilty” or “no contest” to any other offense in exchange for a dismissal of the offense charged.  No [prosecutor] shall make any motion and no judge shall enter any order in derogation of this section. This section does not prohibit [entry into] diversion as provided under ORS 813.200.

(2) Notwithstanding ORS 135.881 to 135.901, a person charged with the offense of driving under the influence of intoxicants shall not be allowed to enter into any program of supervised performance or diversion except as provided under ORS 813.200.

 

What about the Base Fine listed on my ticket?

 

You will not have to pay any fine including the base fine amount if you enter diversion.  If you're convicted of DUII or other charges you will face fines for those offenses.  However, those amounts will almost certainly be substantially less than the base fine listed.

 What type of sentence can I expect if I am convicted of a first time DUI in Oregon?

A person convicted of a DUII for the first time can expect to receive a sentence of a period of probation with conditions that include:  Between 2 and 20 days jail; a $1,000 - $2,000 fine; approximately $400 in additional court fees and assessments; a one year ODL suspension; an alcohol / drug evaluation and treatment; and attendance at a Victims Panel class.

How much jail time will I have to do if I am convicted of a DUII in Oregon?

The amount of incarceration (jail or prison) received will depend on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) the following:

•  your prior driving record especially your DUII history;

•  your level of intoxication;

•  whether there was a collision involved;

•  whether there was an injury to another person in the collision;

•  which Oregon county or municipal court your case is in;

•  what judge you are sentenced by;

•  whether there was a passenger / child in your car;

•  whether the judge feels you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

 

Remember, you will not go to jail on for a DUII charge if you enter and successfully complete the diversion program.

I really don't want to go to jail.  Is there anyway to avoid jail time?

Maybe.  Different jurisdictions offer some alternatives to incarceration.  These may include community service, work release, work crew, home confinement aka electronic monitoring.  Often, serving jail time is your only option.

Talk to your Oregon DUII lawyer about what may be available to you.  In this attorney's opinion, a short jail sentence is nearly always preferable to a lengthy period of community service. 

For a first DUII conviction in Multnomah County you may be eligible for an "expedited DUII plea" which allows you to avoid jail time altogether if you complete a series of steps in the first 60 days after a guilty plea.  If you elect this option, 80 hours of community service is substituted for your jail time.  However, if you fail to do your community service in a timely manner you may end up with 30 days in jail.

For a first DUII conviction in Washington County the court will usually sentence you to a short jail term.  Once you're taken into custody, the jail may offer you a "work in lieu" of jail program.  This is an attractive program.  In Beaverton municipal court, the court may authorize a work in lieu program at the time of sentencing.

For a first DUII conviction in Clackamas County the court nearly always sentences you to a short jail term (48 hours) which you must serve in full.

Can I do my community service online?

 

No.  Community service must be done either through the county's community service office or, if authorized by the court, with a 501(c)(3) non-profit in person.

I am licensed to drive in a state other than Oregon and I was cited for a DUII in Oregon.  Will my driver license be suspended?

Oregon only has the authority to suspend your right to drive in the State of Oregon.  However, Oregon and 44 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted an agreement known as the "Driver License Compact."  Oregon will report an Oregon DUII conviction to the home state of the driver (assuming the home state has also adopted the Compact).  Your home state will then generally take action to suspend or revoke your license.

This also works in reverse.  If you are an Oregon licensed driver and you are convicted of a DUI / DWI charge in another state, Oregon will likely suspend your license if it learns of the conviction.  See the statute below:

ORS 809.400 Suspension or revocation for out-of-state conviction.

(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the [Oregon DMV] may suspend or revoke the driving privileges of any resident of [Oregon] upon receiving notice of the conviction of such person in another jurisdiction of an offense therein that, if committed in this state, would be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the driving privileges of the person.  A suspension or revocation under this subsection shall be initiated within 30 days of receipt of notice of the conviction.  Violation of a suspension or revocation imposed under this subsection shall have the same legal effects and consequences as it would if the offense committed in the other jurisdiction had been committed in this jurisdiction.

(b) The [Oregon DMV] may not suspend or revoke driving privileges under this subsection unless notice of conviction is received within 180 days of the date of the conviction.

(2) The [Oregon DMV] may suspend or revoke the driving privileges of any resident of [Oregon] upon receiving notice from another state, territory, federal possession or district or province of Canada that the person’s driving privileges in that jurisdiction have been suspended or revoked.  Violation of the suspension or revocation shall have the same legal effects and consequences as it would if the suspension or revocation had been imposed initially in this state upon the same grounds.  The suspension or revocation under this subsection shall continue until the person suspended or revoked furnishes evidence of any of the following:

(a) Compliance with the law of the other jurisdiction or the restoration of driving privileges in that jurisdiction.

(b) That the revocation or suspension in the other jurisdiction was not under circumstances that would require the department to suspend or revoke the driving privileges of the person under the laws of this state.

(3) A person is entitled to administrative review of a suspension under this section.  [See also OAR 735-070-0030.]

Even if Oregon does not report your suspension (say because you entered diversion), your home state may still learn of an implied consent license suspension through the National Driver Register (sometimes referred to as the National Driver Registry).  The National Driver Register (the "Register") serves as a central repository of information on individuals whose privilege to drive has been revoked or suspended or who have been convicted of serious traffic offenses.  The records maintained in the Register consist of identification information including your name, date of birth, gender, driver license number, and the reporting state.  The substantive information—the reason for the suspension or conviction and associated dates—resides in the reporting state.

State motor vehicle departments can query the Register to determine if an individual's license or privilege has been withdrawn by any other state.  All 50 states and the District of Columbia participate in the Register.  You can request your record from the Register here.

Will I have to install an ignition interlock device on my car?

Probably.  An ignition interlock device (IID) is a computerized breath analyzer that connects into an automobile ignition system.  Prior to starting a vehicle equipped with an IID, a driver must provide a breath sample by blowing into the IID.  The IID prevents the vehicle from starting if the alcohol content in the driver´s breath sample exceeds a certain limit.

State law now requires persons in the DUII diversion program to install an ignition interlock device during any part of the one year diversion period that the person has driving privileges.  In other words, if you drive during the period you're in diversion you may only do so in a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. 

Additionally. a person convicted of an Oregon DUII must install an IID in order to:

•  receive a hardship permit during the suspension period for the DUII conviction; and also to

•  reinstate your ODL after the DUI conviction suspension period ends for a period of one year (for a first DUI conviction) or two years (for a second or subsequent DUI conviction) following the end of the conviction based suspension.

See OAR 735-070-0080 and ORS 813.602 for more information.  For installation locations for an IID, contact the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles at 503.945.5400 or refer to the link on the right of this page.

How do I go about getting an ignition interlock device installed in my car?

Contact one of the IID installers in your area to arrange for installation.  You may also contact the DMV Ignition Interlock Division at 503.945.5400 for answers to your IID questions.  An IID will run you about $60 - $70 per month.

What happens if I don't install an IID?

If you're in the diversion program you need not install an IID if you will not drive at all during the one year diversion period.  However, if you're caught driving without an IID, you risk getting terminated from diversion.  You may also be cited for a Class A traffic violation and face a substantial fine.

If you're convicted of a DUII and do not install an IID, you will remain suspended for an additional year or two depending on your DUII history.  If you get caught driving without an IID while on probation for a DUII conviction you face a probation violation and a Class A traffic violation ticket.  See ORS 813.602(1)(b)-(c).

I have asthma / COPD and I don't think I can use an IID.  What do I do?

Some medical conditions may relieve drivers from installing an IID.  You can review the DMV's rules / requirements on medical exemptions at OAR 735-064-0070(7).  See also House Bill 2116 (2013) (expanding the medical exemption for the DUII diversion IID requirement).

I have a job that requires me to drive a company car.  Do I need to install an IID in that vehicle?

There is an ignition interlock device exemption for employer owned vehicles.  If you meet the exemption requirements, you will not have to install an IID in your employer's vehicle.  See ORS 813.806 and House Bill 2116 (2013) (expanding exemption to diversion IID requirement). 

How many "points" will go on my license for a DUII?

 

Oregon does not use a point system.  Both a DUII conviction and a DUII diversion will go on your driving record, but points are not assessed.   Oregon uses two programs that may be of concern:  (1) the driver improvement program; and (2) the habitual offender program.  If you accumulate enough convictions on your driving record, you face a suspension or revocation under one of these programs. 

 

What happens if I was on probation when I got arrested for an Oregon DUII?

 

Committing a new offense while you're on probation for a previous crime creates two problems.  First, you face the new DUII charge.  Second, you face a probation violation hearing for failing to "obey all laws" (a standard condition of probation).  The most serious scenario is when you receive a new Oregon DUII offense when you're already on probation for a previous DUII.  When this happens, its in your best interest to speak to an Oregon DUII lawyer right away.

 

Since my arrest I've received letters from various Oregon attorneys / treatment providers / IID installers.  How did these people find out that I was arrested?

 

In Oregon, adult arrest and suspension records are "public records" and are subject to disclosure upon written request.  Some Oregon lawyers and other service providers make public record requests from government agencies in order to obtain a list of persons arrested for a DUII offense.  After receiving the arrest / suspension information, the firm sends a letter outlining their services.  Keep in mind that even though these records are "public," individual records are usually not accessible unless specifically requested. 

 

Can I really get an Oregon DUI on a bicycle?

 

Yes.  The criminal charge for DUII applies to anyone operating a "vehicle" in the State of Oregon (not just motor vehicles).  Therefore, you can get a DUII on a bike, moped, motorized scooter, pocket bike, electric bicycle and even a Segway.  The penalties for  a DUII crime are the same whether you're in a motor vehicle or on a bike.

 

Oregon's implied consent law only applies to motor vehicles however.

 

After my arrest, my mug shot and name were placed on a website.  Is this legal?

 

Unfortunately, yes.  Arrest records including mug shots are public records.  Any person paying a fee can request and receive this information and re-publish it.  Many local governments also put this information on websites where individuals copy and republish it.  After the first of the year, you may have some recourse.  See House Bill 3467 (2013).  Fortunately in late 2013, Google has taken steps to remove this information from its search results.

Will I be able to vacate, seal or expunge my Oregon DUI or otherwise remove the offense from my record?

Oregon law does not allow an individual to seal or expunge a DUI diversion or a DUI conviction.  Simply put, most traffic offenses cannot be vacated, expunged or sealed under Oregon law.  However . . .

In 2009, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed House Bill 2318.  Under this law--which was effective January 1, 2010--DUI arrests (and other traffic crime arrests) may be expunged if the charge was dismissed (other than diversion-related dismissals) or if the prosecutor declined to prosecute (no-complainted) the case.  However, DUI convictions and dismissals resulting from the successful completion of the diversion program still cannot be sealed or expunged.

Example One:  You were found not guilty of the DUII charge after a jury trial.  You may expunge this DUII arrest right away (assuming you meet the other expungement eligibility requirements).

Example Two:  You were arrested for a DUII charge even though your breath test showed only a 0.06 percent.  You went to court, and the case was called as a "no complaint."  You may expunge this arrest after waiting one year.

Example Three:  You were arrested for a DUII charge and entered the diversion program.  Your DUII was dismissed after one year following your successful completion of the diversion program.  You cannot expunge this arrest.

Example Four:  You were arrested for a hit and run charge (failure to perform the duties of a driver) and your lawyer was able to obtain a dismissal of the charge through a "civil compromise."  You may seal / expunge this arrest right away assuming you're otherwise eligible.

What will an Oregon DUII charge do to my ability to get / maintain car insurance?

If your insurance company finds out about an entry into the diversion program or a DUII conviction one of two things are likely to happen.  Either your insurer will raise your rates or you may be cancelled or non-renewed. 

Of course, it is possible that your insurance carrier may not find out about your DUII on their own.  However, if you are convicted of a DUII or if you apply for a hardship permit you will need to file an SR-22.  [This is an important consideration in deciding whether to apply for a hardship permit if you enter diversion on your DUII charge.]  You can only get an SR-22 from your insurance company so they will necessarily learn of the DUII arrest / conviction when you request one.

If your insurance company misses the diversion or conviction at the time it happens, it generally has three years to cancel your policy or raise your rates because of the DUII. 

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a certificate from an Oregon licensed insurance company certifying that you have purchased liability insurance that meets the minimum required coverage limits.  Oregon's minimum coverage limits are:  $25,000 to cover bodily injury to or death of any one person in any one motor vehicle accident; and, $50,000 to cover two or more persons; and $10,000 to cover property damages.

The SR-22 provides proof to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you are insured.  If you cancel your insurance or the insurance company cancels your policy before your suspension period is over, the company must notify DMV that the certificate is canceled.  You will need to get a new SR-22 certificate on file with DMV within 30 days or your license will be suspended.  If you are asked to prove “future financial responsibility” by having an SR-22 on file with DMV, a copy of your insurance binder or your insurance card is not considered acceptable proof.  Also, your insurance must cover all vehicles both operated by you and registered in your name.

You will generally need to file an SR-22 if you are convicted of an Oregon DUII or if you apply for a hardship permit.  An SR-22 is also required for certain unsatisfied judgments; for driving uninsured convictions; and for uninsured accidents.

Do I need to file an SR-22 if I enter the diversion program?

If you enter the diversion program on your DUII charge and do not apply for a hardship permit on your implied consent suspension, then you should not need to file an SR-22.  A hardship permit requires an SR-22 filing.

I was involved in an accident with my DUII.  Do I need to file an accident report?

You will need to file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report if you were involved in a collision and one of the following are also present: 

  • More than $1500 in damage to your vehicle;

  • More than $1500 in damage to any one person's property other than a vehicle;

  • Any vehicle has more than $1500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages;

  • Injury to any person (no matter how minor the injury); or

  • The death of any person.

If possible, file the report within 72 hours after the incident.  File the report even if its late.

What if I am facing other charges along with my Oregon DUI?

Additional offenses generally fall into two categories:  violations and crimes.  Violations--such as careless driving, VBR, failing to maintain lane, failing to obey a traffic control device--are punishable only by a fine (and rarely a short license suspension).  Traffic crimes--such as reckless driving, hit and run, assault, and criminal mischief--are more serious because a conviction may result in jail time and nearly always result in a license suspension or revocation of some length. 

Criminal offenses are punishable by possible jail time, fines, and a mandatory driver license suspension.  Some of the more common offenses which accompany DUII charges are outlined below.

OREGON CRIMINAL CHARGE HOW COMMITTED SUSPENSION  / REVOCATION
Reckless Driving
(misdemeanor)
Operating vehicle in a reckless manner endangering persons or property. 90 day suspension
(longer if prior conviction(s))
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree
(misdemeanor)
Recklessly damages property of another in an amount exceeding $500. 90 day suspension
(longer if prior conviction(s))
Assault in the Fourth Degree
(misdemeanor)
Recklessly causing physical injury to another person. One year suspension
Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver
(property damage only-misdemeanor)
Committing a hit and run after damaging property of another. 90 day suspension
(longer if prior conviction(s))
Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver
(injury / death to another-felony)
Committing a hit and run after injuring or killing another person. One year revocation
(3 years if serious phy. inj.)

(5 years if someone died)
Recklessly Endangering Another Person
(misdemeanor)
Recklessly creating a risk of serious physical injury to another. 90 day suspension
(longer if prior conviction(s))

Keep in mind that you cannot enter diversion on any criminal charges other than a DUII charge.  Contact an experienced Oregon DUI lawyer to learn more.

What type of penalties might I face if I am convicted of reckless driving in Oregon?

Charges such as reckless driving, misdemeanor failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run property damage), recklessly endangering, and criminal mischief in the second degree have fewer required penalties than the crime of DUII.  When convicted of one of these charges, you can expect a sentence of probation, a fine, an order of restitution if applicable, and at least a 90 day license suspension.  Jail time is possible though not required.  The amount of jail time, if any, will depend primarily on the seriousness of the incident and the your driving record.

I have a commercial driver license.  How long will my CDL be suspended for if I am convicted of a DUII?

 

For a first DUII conviction, your commercial license will generally be suspended for one year (the same length as your non-commercial Class C license).  This one year suspension applies regardless of whether you were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of your DUII arrest. 

 

However, if you were operating a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials while under the influence, your CDL will be suspended for three years for a first DUII conviction.

 

For a second DUII conviction you lose your commercial license for life though you have the right to reapply for a CDL after 10 years.

 

Keep in mind that "a person's commercial motor vehicle driving privileges may be suspended without affecting the person's privileges to operate vehicles which may be operated with a Class C driver license."  OAR 735-070-0035(1).

 

Refer to 49 CFR § 383.51(b) for the federal regulations setting forth CDL disqualifications for major traffic offenses.  These regulations apply to CDL drivers in all 50 states.

How long will my CDL be suspended for if I failed or refused a breath / blood / urine test?

If you're not driving a commercial vehicle, your CDL will be suspended for same length as Class C license holders.  Those suspensions lengths are outlined in the table near the top of the page.  If you were driving a commercial vehicle, you face a suspension as outlined in the table below:

 

TEST FAILURE OR REFUSAL WHILE DRIVING A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE CDL SUSPENSION LENGTH
Breath / Blood / Urine Test Refusal 1 year
Breath / Blood / Urine Test Refusal while Transporting Hazardous Materials 3 years
Breath / Blood / Urine Test Refusal - Increased¹ lifetime
Breath / Blood Test Failure² 1 year
Breath / Blood Test Failure² while Transporting Hazardous Materials 3 years
Breath / Blood Test Failure²  - Increased¹ lifetime
Note 1:  Suspension lengths are increased if any of the following has occurred prior to the current DUII arrest:  a DUII conviction; a suspension under implied consent law; or a conviction for failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run).  See ORS 809.404(2) and 49 CFR § 383.51(b) for more information.
Note 2:  You fail a breath or blood test while driving a commercial vehicle if your BAC registers 0.04% or greater.
Note 3:  Hardship permits are NOT available to drive commercial vehicles.

 

Are there special concerns for licensed pilots who get an Oregon DUII?

 

Yes.  The FAA has special reporting requirements for certain Motor Vehicle Actions including DUI convictions and certain administrative (implied consent) driver license suspensions.  Learn more here.  The FAA will not necessarily take action against your pilot's license for receiving a DUII, but it is vital that you report the incident if required.

 

Are there any concerns for mariners licensed by the United States Coast Guard who get an Oregon DUII?

 

Yes.  An applicant for a Coast Guard credential must disclose all criminal convictions on their application form.  In addition, the Regional Exam Center (REC) performs a National Driver Register check on applicants.  Once a DUII conviction is identified, the REC evaluates the applicant's reported conviction and associated facts.

I have an OLCC servers permit.  Will my DUII cause me to lose my permit?

 

Possibly.  Service permits are issued by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to employees who serve alcohol in restaurants, taverns, bars, lounges, clubs, and other businesses.  Oregon law requires you to have a service permit if you work at a business with a liquor license that allows customers to drink on the premises and you mix, serve, or sell alcohol in any manner.  Managers who supervise employees who mix, serve, or sell alcohol must also have a service permit.  Consult the OLCC's website to determine if a DUII conviction will affect your permit.  Generally, a first DUII will not.

 

Are there special concerns for Oregon health professionals who are arrested for a DUI or other criminal charges?

 

Yes.  Effective January 1, 2010, if you are a health professional that is (1) license by; or (2) certified by; or (3) registered with one of the following Boards:

  • State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology;

  • State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (chiropractors);

  • State Board of Clinical Social Workers (LCSW);

  • Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists;

  • Oregon Board of Dentistry (Dentists);

  • Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians;

  • State Board of Massage Therapists;

  • Board of Naturopathic Examiners (Naturopathic Physician);

  • Oregon State Board of Nursing (Nurse, RN’s);

  • Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators;

  • Oregon Board of Optometry (Optometrists);

  • State Board of Pharmacy (Pharmacists);

  • Oregon Medical Board (Doctors, Physicians, Surgeons);

  • Occupational Therapy Licensing Board (Occupational Therapists);

  • Physical Therapist Licensing Board;

  • State Board of Psychologist Examiners;

  • Board of Radiologic Technology (Radiology Technicians);

  • State Board of Direct Entry Midwifery (Midwives);

  • State Board of Denture Technology (Denturists);

  • Respiratory Therapist Licensing Board;

  • Department of Human Services, to the extent that the department certifies emergency medical technicians (EMT’s);

  • Oregon State Veterinary Medical Examining Board (Veterinarians, Vets); or

  • State Mortuary and Cemetery Board.

Then you must self-report, to the appropriate board, either a misdemeanor or felony conviction within 10 days of the conviction or if you are arrested for a felony, you must report the arrest within 10 days of the arrest.  See House Bill 2059 (2009).

Most DUI arrests are misdemeanor offenses which are not subject to mandatory reporting.  Successful completion of diversion results in a dismissal of the DUI charge which would also not require reporting.  However, a DUI conviction or a conviction of reckless driving / hit and run or another crime must be reported within 10 days of the conviction / sentence.  An arrest for a felony DUII or felony hit and run would require immediate reporting.

Are there programs for health professionals that have an alcohol or other substance abuse problems?

Oregon physicians may wish to consider contacting the Board of Medical Examiners’ Health Professionals' Services Program (HPSP) if they have a problem with alcohol.  The mission of the HPSP is to protect public health through maintenance of the health of licensees of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners.  HPSP services include confidential consultation, intervention, assessment, referral, recovery monitoring, and relapse management.  HPSP will facilitate the intervention for individuals identified with possible substance use disorder, conduct an initial assessment and refer for a multi-disciplinary evaluation and/or treatment as recommended.  

Once a licensee diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder has completed a primary phase of treatment, an HPSP agreement for continuing care monitoring is implemented.  Standard monitoring lasts a minimum of five years and includes an individualized plan of therapeutic recovery activities as well as random urine toxicology screening.  Evidence of recovery is obtained through behavioral observations, evidence of healthy choices, and active participation in recovery activities.  Participants will be drug tested. 

Oregon dentists may wish to consider contacting the Board of Dentistry Confidential Diversion Monitoring Program.

Oregon nurses may wish to contact the HPSP if they have a problem with chemical dependency.

There are pros and cons to seeking help from both the HPSP and the dentistry program. 

What will a DUII do to my ability to enter Canada?

Having any type of drunk driving (DUII) conviction generally makes you inadmissible to Canada for at least 10 years.  On rare occasions, a person may be deemed rehabilitated when less than 10 years has elapsed since the conviction.  Usually, you must wait at least five years from the end of your DUII probation however.  Refer to Canada's Citizen and Immigration website to learn more about entering Canada following an Oregon DUII conviction. 

Beginning in 2012, a foreign national (US Citizen) with a single misdemeanor DUII conviction may be allowed to visit Canada under a TPA if you meet the following additional conditions:

  1. you were convicted of a (DUII) offense and received no term of jail or prison time as part of the sentence imposed; and
  2. you have no other convictions or committed any other acts that would render you inadmissible.

If you believe that you will need to travel to Canada in the future and you're facing a first DUII conviction it is essential that you discuss with your lawyer about requesting a community service sentence (rather that 2 days / 48 hours jail).  If you can avoid a sentence that includes any incarceration, you may be allowed to enter Canada under a Temporary Residence Permit (TPR)

Keep in mind that if you successfully complete the Oregon diversion program you will not be convicted of a DUII offense.  However, you should avoid attempting to enter Canada while you are in the diversion program as your case will show as "pending" until dismissal.  Remember:  diversion lasts one calendar year. 

Where and when do I go to court?

You should have been given a release agreement from the jail or a citation from the officer.  On either the release agreement or citation you will find the date, time and place of your court appearance(s).   Make sure you read this paperwork and do not miss court.  Sometimes you may have a separate appearance at a different time / date / location if you're cited for an infraction (such as speeding) along with your DUII charge, so read all of your paperwork. 

 

Do I need an attorney for my first court appearance?

 

No.  Some courts, such as Multnomah County, have you appear a day or two after your arrest.  You may go to your first court appearance by yourself and the court will always allow you time to find a lawyer.  You will not harm your case, defenses, or options by going to your first appearance by yourself. 

 

If you do hire a lawyer before your first court appearance, you may be able to have your counsel appear on your behalf.  Multnomah County; Clackamas County; Washington County; West Linn; and Lake Oswego courts often allow a first appearance to be made by retained counsel without the defendant's personal appearance. 

I have a conflict.  Do I have to go to my first court appearance?

 

Yes, unless you hire an attorney prior to your first appearance and the attorney tells you that he/ she can appear on your behalf. 

 

GENERAL RULE:  If you fail to appear for court you forfeit your right to do diversion and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.   You may also be charged with the crime of failure to appear.

 

EXCEPTION:  In some Oregon courts if you hire an attorney prior to your first appearance the attorney can appear on your behalf.  Examples include Multnomah County; Clackamas County (for non-person crimes including DUII); and Washington County (if you were booked into jail following your arrest).

 

You always must appear on felony charges.  You will have to personally appear for subsequent court appearances even if your attorney can handle your first appearance.  [Occasionally, in Multnomah County only, an attorney can handle misdemeanors without any appearances through a mail plea.]

I missed my court appearance.  What do I do now?

Failing to appear (FTA) for court is to be avoided.  When you miss a court appearance, you could be charged with a separate crime known as "Failure to Appear in the Second Degree" or "Failure to Appear in the First Degree."  At a minimum, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest (known as a bench warrant).  Talk to your lawyer.  If you are in Multnomah County, your lawyer may be able to scheduled a court appearance to recall your bench warrant.  Often times, your only option is to turn yourself in at the jail on the outstanding warrant.  A new court date will then be scheduled for your appearance.

I have a warrant for my arrest for an old DUII charge in Oregon, and I live in another state.  Will Oregon seek to extradite me back to Oregon?

Oregon generally does not extradite persons from out of state for misdemeanor warrants.  However, if you failed to appear for a felony DUII offense, Oregon very well will seek to bring you back if you're ever arrested in your home state.

I am having trouble getting my license back after a DUII conviction some years back.  Can a lawyer help me?

Probably not.  To reinstate your license contact the Oregon DMV and find out exactly why you are suspended.  You may be suspended for any one of a number of reasons such as:

  • failing to appear in court;

  • failing to pay fines or fees;

  • failing to install an ignition interlock device (See OAR 735-070-0080);

  • failing to provide or maintain an SR-22;

  • failing to provide proof of treatment completion (See OAR 735-070-0085).

Once you know the exact reason(s) that you're suspended, you must take the steps to fix the problems.  Generally speaking, a lawyer will not be able to relieve you from the DMV's requirements.

The one exception may be with the proof of treatment completion.  If you don't provide the Oregon DMV with proof of treatment completion they will put a hold on (suspend) your license for up to 15 years.  If you've done treatment but haven't been able to provide the DMV with a satisfactory completion certificate an attorney may be able to file a motion asking the court to find that you've substantially satisfied the requirement.  See House Bill 2121 (2013).

Can I represent myself in court on my DUI and / or other charge(s)?

Yes.  You have a constitutional right to represent yourself on any criminal charge no matter how serious. 

Keep in mind that Oregon DUI defense is a complex area of the law as evidenced by the information above.  If you cannot afford to hire your own lawyer, you definitely should apply for court appointed counsel to represent you. 

You have no right to court appointed counsel on an appeal of your implied consent license suspension as this is an administrative (non-criminal) proceeding.

If you would like to hire an Oregon DUI lawyer for your charge, consider contacting attorney David Lesh.  There is no charge for the initial consultation.

To contact Mr. Lesh call 503.546.2928 or schedule an appointment online

Mr. Lesh's office is located at 434 NW 19th Avenue in Portland on the corner of NW 19th Avenue and NW Glisan Street. 


Representing Clients in Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County, Columbia County, and Yamhill County Courts as well as Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Gladstone, Canby, Scappoose, McMinnville, West Linn and Troutdale Municipal Courts.

 


A sample of actual cards and notes sent to Mr. Lesh by past clients:

"We just wanted to thank you for all of your help with C's DUII.  You have made this stressful process so much easier with all of your assistance and advice.  We want you to know that it has been very much appreciated.  Thank you."  B & C I-V

 

"I cannot thank you enough for your outstanding representation and paragon performance in the courtroom on Friday.  It was a pleasure to have someone as adept as you to argue for the reduced sentence with the more lenient but better societal outcome in terms of service to the community that this provides . . . Thanks a million."  J.

 

"The world I have become used to is full of people obsessed with themselves.  I have started a journey down a path that leads to a new way of life, and I have been inspired by your kindness.  Thank you so much."  B.F.

 

"I wanted to express my thanks to you again for your legal assistance and support over the past year.  While I know this is part of your job, I am still very grateful for your help.  Thank you again."  T.H.

 

"Thank you for being such a nice and effective attorney.  This was a very scary time for me and you made it almost painless.  If I know of someone who needs your expertise in the future, I will highly recommend your name."  J.G.

 

"Thank you very much.  Wanted you to know we really appreciate all your help in our recent legal  matters"  B.R. and N.R.



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Websites, including this one, provide general Oregon DUI information and processes but do not provide legal advice or create a lawyer / client relationship.  General information cannot replace legal advice specific to your case, problem, or situation.  Consult qualified Oregon Drunk Driving DUII lawyers / attorneys for advice about any specific problem or DUI charge that you have.  Oregon attorneys are governed by the Oregon Code of Professional Responsibility.  Oregon attorneys are not board certified.  Testimonials on this site were not solicited in any way and were received by Mr. Lesh from former clients in the form of thank you cards and notes.  This website may be considered an advertisement for services under the Code.  Information contained in this website is believed to be accurate but is not warranted or guaranteed in any way. 

 

Mr. Lesh accepts American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard credit cards. 

 

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