In Oregon, DUI law is a bit different than in other states. In fact, the term we use is DUII, or driving under the influence of intoxicants.
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher in Oregon, you can be charged with a DUII, regardless of whether your driving was impaired. This is often referred to as a "per se" DUI. But you can also be charged with a DUII if your physical or mental capabilities are impaired by drugs or alcohol, regardless of your BAC level.
According to Oregon law, by operating a vehicle, you automatically consent to submitting to a chemical test to determine the amount of drugs or alcohol in your blood stream.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding DUII in Oregon:
When do Oregon police measure BAC?
To be convicted of a DUII per se in Oregon, there needs to be proof that your BAC was .08% or higher. However, since there is always at least a short delay between the act of driving an a breathalyzer test, documents may show a lower BAC. If your BAC dropped below a .08% after being stopped, it may still be possible for prosecution to prove that you were driving over the legal limit.
However, DUII attorneys may be able to argue that your BAC was lower when you were driving than at the time of the chemical test. This is called a "rising blood alcohol defense."
What is the maximum BAC for underage drivers?
According to Oregon's DUII statute, the state does not treat drivers differently because of age. So, to be convicted of DUII, a driver's BAC must be over .08%.
However, Oregon is a zero tolerance state for administrative purposes. The Department of Motor Vehicles can, and likely will, suspend the license of a driver under the age of 21 who has any measurable amount of alcohol in his or her blood.
What are the minimum jail times for a DUII in Oregon?
For first and second offenses, the minimum sentence is two days in jail or 80 hours of community service. For a third offense, the convicted must spend 90 days in jail.
How long do prior DUII convictions remain relevant?
In some cases, a DUI/DUII conviction may stay on your record for five, ten, or 15 years. But depending on severity, the conviction may never be expunged from your record at all.
In many cases, a DUI or DUII conviction can cost you more than $20,000 in fines, bail, and legal costs. If you are facing DUII charges in Oregon, contact DUII attorney Rhett Bernstein.