If you are dealing with an immediate or impending arrest for Driving Under the Influence, contact us at 541-505-1505.
There are two separate pieces to a DUI (or, DUII) in Oregon: the immediate driver's license suspension through the DMV, and then the criminal charges through the court.
Oregon DUI Law: Implied Consent Suspension
Oregon has an implied consent law. It means that when you drive a motor vehicle here, you are consenting to take a breath, blood or urine test at a police officer's request.
The implied consent law means that if you failed a breath test, your driver's license is suspended for at least 90 days, and up to 3 years.
If you refused to submit to a breath test, your driver's license is suspended for at least a year.
The implied consent license suspension is separate from a court-ordered suspension if you are convicted of a DUI.
Request a DMV Hearing
In Oregon you have a very strict 10-day deadline from the date of your arrest to formally request a DMV hearing. You should request a DMV hearing even if you chose not to hire a DUI lawyer.
Why should you request a DMV hearing:
- It is an opportunity to review the police department's paperwork
- It locks the officer into their testimony before they practice with the prosecutor
- If we win, you may get your driver's license back—and we will have strong leverage when negotiating your charges with the prosecutor.
- There is no downside. If we lose, nothing changes.
Oregon DUI Law: Criminal Charges
In Oregon, it is a crime to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants if:
- Your have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more, as shown by a breath or blood test;
- You are under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance or an inhalant, or any combination of these.
Oregon Law on Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants: ORS 813.010
A DUI is considered a misdemeanor crime in Oregon. But if you have two or more recent DUI convictions, then you face felony charges.
Additional criminal charges that we see in DUI cases may include:
Reckless Driving: putting other people, or property, at risk while you are driving.
Recklessly Endangering Another Person: Creating a substantial risk of serious injury to someone else.
Driving while suspended: Driving a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked.
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree: Intentionally or recklessly damaging property valued at over $500.
Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver when property is damaged: Causing a collision and leaving the scene without taking proper action (hit-and-run).
Assault in the Third Degree: Recklessly causing serious physical injury to someone, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Oregon Law on Reckless Driving: ORS 811.140 / Oregon Law on Reckless Endangerment: ORS 163.195 / Oregon Law on Driving while Suspended ORS 811.175 / Oregon Law on Criminal Mischief: ORS 164.354 / Oregon Law on Hit and Run: ORS 811.700 / More on Assault charges in Oregon
Going to Court for a DUI
You must personally appear in court or be represented by a DUI attorney—or a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
The main options for handling a DUI case are:
- Enter a diversion program;
- Plead guilty to the charges; or
- Contest the charges at trial.
Be aware that none of these options affect your implied consent driver's license suspension.
If you are convicted of a DUI at trial, your driver's license will be suspended or revoked.
If you are found not guilty at trial, then you face no additional penalties (beyond the separate implied consent suspension.)
If you successfully complete the DUI diversion program, you won't face an additional license suspension.
Some of the penalties we see in Oregon DUI cases include:
- A driver's license suspension of up to 3 years;
- Jail time up to 1 year;
- Community service;
- Payment of court costs and fees;
- Required installation Ignition interlocking device, plus costs;
- A mandatory minimum fine of $1,000;
- An alcohol or drug use treatment assessment, plus costs;
- A court order not to use alcohol or drugs;
- Attending a victims' impact panel, plus costs
With multiple DUIs, the penalties become much more severe, and include:
- Possible prison time;
- Fines up to $4000, plus court fees and costs;
- Attending an alcohol or substance abuse treatment program
- Possible permanent revocation of your driver's license.
Each county and jurisdiction handle DUI arrests differently. DUI lawyers in Eugene, Oregon can help with a Lane County arrest: get a free consultation.
Entering a DUI Diversion Program
The process for the Oregon DUI Diversion Program can vary by county or jurisdiction; you should consult with an attorney on your specific case.
DUI diversion is meant to streamline the process for first-time drunk driving charges and prevent future offenses.
You may be eligible for DUI diversion program if:
- You have not been convicted of a DUI in the last 15 years.
- You have never been convicted of felony DUI charges.
- Your current DUI charge was not connected to a crash, or did not cause anyone physical harm (the degree of harm is considered, but the bar is pretty low).
- You have not been convicted of criminal charges related to driving in the last 15 years.
- You do not have a CDL, and were not driving a commercial vehicle.
- You have not been ordered by a court to attend and participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program (but this doesn't necessarily a disqualify).
However, each of these rules have nuances: it is worth talking to a lawyer about your particular circumstances.
Free Consultation with DUI Lawyers in Eugene, Oregon
There is a lot of questionable information out there about drunk driving charges. And while Oregon laws specifically prohibit impaired driving, there is also case law from rulings by the Oregon Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and from federal courts.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, contact us for a free and confidential consultation.