DUI & DWI in Oregon
Driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) such as alcohol, is a crime in Oregon. This crime endangers the lives of innocent people who share the road, as well as yourself.
Oregon motorists may be charged with DUII if driving a vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or other controlled substance.
Oregon is also governed by implied consent laws. This means that a driver automatically consents to blood, breath, or urine test when driving a vehicle. Refusal to take such a test can be used as evidence in court, and suspension from implied consent is separate from suspension that results from DUII conviction.
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Oregon DUII Defined
Motorists will fail a DUII field test if their blood alcohol (BAC) reading is 0.08% or higher. For drivers under 21 years old, any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream constitutes a failure of the sobriety test. For CDL drivers the legal limit is a BAC of 0.04%.
In Oregon, like many states, you will not have to just deal with criminal charges for driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), you will also face penalties by the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV). The DMV can suspend your license if you refuse or fail a chemical test. These penalties are separate from any punishment given by the court.
Drivers who fail or refuse a DUII test and have their Oregon driver license with them will have it confiscated. The arresting officer will issue a temporary permit for 30 days, after which suspension is in effect and the temporary permit is invalid. The officer will also give you an "intent to suspend" notice.
You have the right to a hearing to contest the suspension. A hearing must be requested within 10 days of the date of a suspension notice mailed to you by the DMV or within 10 days of the DUII arrest.
You can request a hearing:
- By faxing a written request to the DMV Hearings Case Management Unit at (503) 945-5521.
- By mailing or bringing in person a written request to:
- DMV Hearings Case Management Unit
- 1905 Lana Ave NE
- Salem OR 97314
Requests faxed, mailed or brought in person must contain
very specific information in order to be processed. You can call theHearings Case Management Unit at (503) 945-5545 to make sure your request was received. You cannot request a hearing over the phone.
Unless you or the arresting officer request a hearing to be done in person, the hearing will be conducted by phone. The hearing is conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
If your suspension is upheld you will face the following length of suspension by the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV):
- Failure of a breath test:
- 1st offense:90 days
- 2nd offense within 5 years*: 1 year
- Refusal to take a breath test:
- 1st offense: 1 year.
- 2nd Offense within 5 years*: 3 years.
- Refusal to take a urine test:
- 1st offense:1 year.
- 2nd offense within 5 years*: 3 years.
- This suspension will not begin until any other implied consent suspensions have ended.
- Refusal to take a blood test while receiving medical care after a collision:
- 1st offense:1 year.
- 2nd offense within 5 years*: 3 years
- Failure of a blood test for DUII while receiving medical care after a collision:
- 1st offense: 90 days.
- 2nd offense within 5 years: 1 year.
- This suspension will not begin until the 60th day after it was reported to the DMV that you refused the test.
*Note: To be charged with a 2nd offense you can have, on your driving record, any type of prior alcohol-related entry within this past time period.
In addition to license suspension you will be responsible for any or all of the following if you fail or refuse a chemical test:
- DUII Treatment
- An Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle.
- Proof of financial responsibility when driving privileges are reinstated.
- Driver's License reinstatement fee of $75.
Oregon drivers convicted of DUII who still have driving privileges are required to return any license in their possession to the DMV when a suspension begins.
The Oregon DMV may also suspend driving privileges for DUII or related conviction in another state.
Suspension times also vary for DUII while driving a commercial vehicle.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Oregon may require an ignition interlock device (IID) for DUII-convicted motorists who are driving with either a hardship permit or after suspension is over. The IID, a computerized breath analyzer, works with a vehicle's ignition and prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver's breath has an illegal alcohol content.
The IID is also required for those convicted of DUII in Oregon to fully reinstate driving privileges after suspension. To get an IID that allows you to drive you must have it installed by a DMV approved IID company.
You will pay an installation fee and a monthly monitoring fee.
Hardship Permits and Driver's License Reinstatement
You may qualify for a hardship license after you have served part of your driver's license suspension time. The wait period varies based on the reason your license was suspended. The DUII Convictions, Suspensions, Hardship Permit, and Reinstatements (Form 735-6826) lists the wait periods as well as all of the requirements needed in order to apply for a hardship permit or to have your license reinstated. The basic requirements are:
- Driver's license reinstatement fee: $75.
- Hardship/Probationary Permit Application (Form 735-6044).
- Hardship/Probationary Permit Application fee: $50 (non-refundable).
- Paperwork verifying your employment.
- Certificate of Liability Insurance (SR-22 typically required for 3 years).
- An approved Ignition Interlock Device.
- Proof of your completed A DUII Treatment.
If your application is accepted, the DMV will mail you a restriction letter. You must take this letter to your local Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division office to obtain your restricted driver's license. The letter does not give you permission to drive before your restricted license is issued.