Oregon DUI LAW
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Oregon DUI video transcription
Oregon drivers face a license suspension ranging from 90 days to 3 years for failing or refusing a breath or blood test. An Oregon DUII conviction will results in a driverís license suspension of 1 to 3 years or and even a lifetime suspension. A DUII stands for driving under the influence of intoxicants. If you been arrested in Oregon you should contact an attorney right away to protect your rights.
Oregon DUI arrests (often called DUII, for driving under the influence of intoxicants) trigger two separate cases: a criminal court case, where significant punishment including jail time, fines, mandatory classes, required ignition interlock devices, and other consequences are sought; and a DMV case, where the person's driver's license may be suspended.
TAKE NOTE: YOU MUST REQUEST A HEARING WITH THE OREGON DMV, OR ELSE YOUR LICENSE WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE SUSPENDED. PLEASE CONTACT AN OREGON DUI DEFENSE LAWYER RIGHT AWAY TO SAVE YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGES.
Drunk driving defense is a specialized area. Let one of the qualified DUI LAWS attorneys find a solution to your legal problem if you, or someone you care about, has been arrested for DUI or DUII. Contact an Oregon DUI LAWS lawyer near you for a free consultation by calling 1.800.DUI.LAWS.
Oregon drivers face a license suspension ranging from 90 days to three years for failing or refusing a breath or blood test. An Oregon DUII conviction will result in a driver's license suspension of one or three years, or a lifetime suspension. Oregon DUII laws are some of the strictest in the country, making it critical that one contact a qualified Oregon DUI defense attorney immediately if accused of drunk driving or any DUII related offense.
Oregon DUI / DWI law does not require that you be drunk to be convicted of Oregon drunk driving (or DUII, driving under the influence of intoxicants). In Oregon, you may be convicted of DUII if you are merely affected to some perceptible degree by the intoxicant you have consumed. The test is whether you lack the clearness of mind and physical control that you normally possess because of the intoxicant you have consumed. Intoxicants include drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. If you are in such a physical condition through the use of medication, drugs or even fatigue so that you become affected by a lesser amount of intoxicant than would normally affect you, you may still be found guilty of the charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants if your mental or physical faculties are affected to a noticeable degree. The offense may be committed on a public highway or on premises open to the public. Therefore, the law applies to areas such as parking lots, transit station parking facilities, and school yards, but does not apply to driving on private land not open to the public.
The prosecutor usually relies upon the opinion testimony of police officers who have made the DUII arrest. That opinion is usually based upon the officers' observations of driving pattern, physical appearance after the stop, your walking, standing, and speaking. The opinion also can be based upon the statements, if any, you make to the officer.
An officer also may ask you to do certain balance tests or certain memory tests commonly called "field sobriety tests." If you are warned that your refusal to perform such tests may be admitted in court against you, your refusal to perform such tests may not be admitted at trial. Once an officer has placed you under arrest, he or she is required to read you your constitutional rights. You have no legal obligation to say anything to the police officer at any time other than to present your driver's license and vehicle registration. Anything you do say can be used against you at trial.
The prosecutor may use the chemical analysis of your breath or blood to prove the offense of driving under the influence of intoxicants. This analysis is usually done by testing your breath with an Intoxilyzer machine. If you submit to a breath test, you may request a blood test or other form of test to measure the alcohol content of your blood. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants, and you agree to take a breath test, that evidence generally can be used against you in a trial of the DUII case. If the test is valid, and it shows a blood alcohol reading as measured by your breath of .08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood, you can be found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicants whether or not you were driving erratically or showed any visible signs of being under the influence. However, the demand for a blood test will not affect the consequences of a refusal to take a breath test.
Being convicted of Driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) has extremely serious consequences and penalties. If found guilty on a first offense DUII, you could be fined $5,000.00, your driver's license will be suspended for one year, and you will be required to submit to an alcohol evaluation at your own expense and to complete any treatment program recommended by the evaluator, and you could receive one year in the county jail.
The court may also order:
- A period of probation;
- At least 48 hours in jail or at least 80 hours of community service;
- Unitary Assessment of $90.00;
- Statutory assessments of $225.00;
- Reimbursement for court-appointed attorney fees;
- That you obey all laws during the probation period;
- That you not drink alcohol or use or possess drugs;
- That you attend a Victims Impact Panel.
Oregon DUII cases may not be plea-bargained to lesser charges. While plea deals of this type are common in some states, in Oregon this practice is prohibited by state law, specifically ORS 813.170 (*PDF File). This is yet another reason why it is so important to consult with a top Oregon DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after a DUII arrest.
Oregon driving under the influence of intoxicant (DUII) laws do afford the opportunity for first-offenders to seek DUI Diversion. However, changes to the law in 2004 make it important to have skilled DUII lawyer assist persons who are considering this alternative, since a guilty or no contest plea to the DUII charges are a prerequisite to eligibility for DUII diversion. This alone makes consultation with a DUII defense attorney mandatory for anyone charged with an Oregon drunk driving offense.
DUI Diversion is a program that allows eligible persons to avoid a DUI conviction and the accompanying court penalties if they are able to complete the program requirements that are imposed. If successfully completed, diversion should result in the dismissal of the DUI charge at the end of one year. The eligibility requirements for DUII Diversion are set out in ORS 813.215 (*PDF File). A person arrested for a first-offense Oregon DUII may be eligible UNLESS:
- You fail to appear at your arraignment without good cause.
- You had another driving under the influence of intoxicants charge pending against you at the time you were arrested for driving under the influence; or
- You are participating in, or in the last ten years have participated in, a diversion or alcohol rehabilitation program; or
- Within the last ten years you have been convicted of any degree of manslaughter, murder, criminally negligent homicide, assault involving the use of a motor vehicle or driving under the influence of intoxicants; or
- The present DUII offense involved an accident resulting in a death or physical injury to another person.
One of the most important things to keep in mind about DUII Diversion is that it has NO EFFECT on any DMV license suspension that may have been imposed for a breath / blood test failure or refusal. A CHALLENGE TO THIS SUSPENSION MUST BE DONE IN A SEPARATE PROCEEDING. Also, keep in mind that DUII Diversion only applies to DUII charges. It is not available to other charges brought, even in the same case. Finally, keep in mind that punishment for the underlying DUII charges is automatic if a person starts DUII Diversion and fails to complete it properly; that is just one of the reasons why consultation with an experienced Oregon drunk driving defense lawyer is critical before considering Oregon DUI diversion.
Oregon DUI defense attorneys also know that diversion will not help with insurance rates. Even if your Oregon DUII charge results in the successful completion of Oregon DUI Diversion, a diversion will appear on your driving record, and your insurance company will still treat you as if you have been convicted of drunk driving.