DUI Penalties

(541) 734-7001

Definition of Driving Under the Influence


In Oregon, a person commits the crime of driving under the influence of intoxicants with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or above, or is under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or an inhalant.

In Oregon, a person can be arrested and convicted for DUII, even with a BAC below .08 percent. Drivers have been convicted of DUII at ZERO percent where a police officer testified that a driver was “impaired” by drugs.

Underage drivers cannot have any alcohol in their blood, and can be charged for DUII even when their BAC is 0.00%. It is unlikely, but it can happen if the prosecutor convinces the jury that the minor had alcohol in the blood system at that time of driving and that alcohol impaired that young driver. 

Penalties

If you're arrested and convicted of DUI, you are subject to license suspensions, jail time, fines and other penalties.

Oregon uses a mixture of administrative and criminal penalties to deter people from driving when they are impaired by alcohol and medications.

Administrative Penalties

An “administrative penalty” is one that is meted out by the executive branch of the Oregon government – here, the Department of Transportation, Driver and Motor Vehicle Services.

This penalty comes in the form of a suspension of your driver's license, and a list of things that you have to do in order to get it back. This list can include installing an Ignition Interlock device in your car for a certain period after your license gets reinstated, and participating in substance abuse classes.

The severity of these penalties can vary, depending on whether there were aggravating factors in your DUII arrest, and whether you have been arrested and convicted for DUII in the past. Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test can also result in an automatic one year license suspension, due to Oregon's implied consent law, which requires you to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test if a police officer requests you to take one.

Refusing to take a test can also impact other penalties, as well as your eligibility for a hardship permit.

Criminal Penalties

The “criminal penalties” that you face as a result of a DUII arrest are the criminal charges that can land you in court, and can lead to fines and even jail time.

Like the administrative penalties, the severity of the criminal penalties vary, depending on whether you have been convicted for DUII in the past, and whether there were any aggravating factors in your recent DUII arrest.

These “aggravating factors” that can increase the DUII penalties include being arrested with a high BAC – over 0.15% – or driving with a passenger both under 18 years old, and at least 3 years younger than you were at the time of the arrest.

In addition to aggravating factors, other costs and fees can stack up after a DUII arrest, such as the price to install, maintain, and remove an Ignition Interlock device from your car, and the fees for a substance abuse program.

The lasting effect of a DUII conviction goes far beyond the license suspension or jail time, however. Your criminal record stays with you forever. A DUII conviction is a misdemeanor, but only for the first two times you get convicted of the crime: A third conviction is a much more serious felony crime.

Here is a handy table to summarize the penalties that you can face if you are convicted for DUII:

In the past 10 years, this is your... 1st Offense
License Suspension 90 days – 1 year
Ignition Interlock 1 year
Diversion Option? Yes
Class of Crime Misdemeanor
Jail Time* 2 days – 1 year
Fine** $1,000 - $6,250
In the past 10 years, this is your... 2nd Offense
License Suspension 3 years
Ignition Interlock 2 years
Diversion Option? Only if no convictions in last 15 years
Class of Crime Misdemeanor
Jail Time* 2 days – 1 year
Fine** $1,500 - $6,250
In the past 10 years, this is your... 3rd Offense
License Suspension Permanent
Ignition Interlock 2 years
Diversion Option? No
Class of Crime Felony
Jail Time* Minimum 90 days
Fine** Minimum $2,000
In the past 10 years, this is your… License Suspension Ignition Interlock Diversion Option? Class of Crime Jail Time* Fine**
1st Offense 90 days – 1 year 1 year Yes Misdemeanor 2 days – 1 year $1,000 - $6,250
2nd Offense 3 years 2 years Only if no convictions in last 15 years Misdemeanor 2 days – 1 year $1,500 - $6,250
3rd Offense Permanent 2 years No Felony Minimum 90 days Minimum $2,000

* Community service is often handed out as an alternative to jail time.

** The minimum fine for someone who was arrested with a BAC at or above 0.15% is $2,000. Additionally, the maximum fine increases to $10,000 if the driver was convicted for DUII, and had a passenger in the car under 18 years of age, and was at least 3 years younger than the driver.

Diversion

If this is your first DUI and you are eligible otherwise, you can elect to participate in Oregon's court-sponsored diversion program.

To get into diversion, a person must plead guilty or "no contest" to a DUII charge. (One jurisdictions we know of does not allow a no contest plea if a person wants to get into diversion.)

In diversion, a person is required to enter and complete a behavior modification program, install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle the person drives (with limited exceptions) and pay all the required fees.

If a person doesn't comply with the program's requirements, the DUII charge comes back to court. If diversion is revoked, the court will note your guilty plea and will proceed to sentencing on a conviction for DUII.

However, if you comply with the requirements of the diversion program, the DUII charge is dismissed.

You should be aware, a DUII will always appear on your criminal record, even if you complete diversion and your case is dismissed.

You call, text or email. Learn what needs to be done. Then do it.

Big grain of salt. Be careful educating yourself from information on web sites. It is all very general, some of it is old and stale, and some is just wrong. Face it. You are going to have to call an attorney. Most good judges will tell you that when you see them in court. So, why not do it now?

Shopping Around

You can expect a very productive 20-minute strategy session over the telephone. Office consultations are available as well. I will tell you everything you might want to know about your circumstance. You have tons of questions, & I have the answers. What could happen to me? Am I going to lose my license? Am I going to Jail? Should I fight my case or take a deal? How long will it take to get through this?

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