Salem, Oregon DUI Attorney
Under Oregon law, you may be arrested for the crime of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (sometimes referred to as DUI or more appropriately DUII), if a Police Officer believes that you were driving a motor vehicle, (including bicycles, recreational vehicles and boats) on a premise open to the public, while you were impaired to a noticeable or a perceptible degree by an intoxicant. Intoxicants include not only alcohol and illegal drugs, but may also include prescription medications and inhalants.
Under Oregon law, by driving a motor vehicle you have “implied” that you will consent to a search of your breath, blood, or urine if you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence. If your blood alcohol level is shown to be .08% or greater, you will be deemed to have “failed” the breath test. If you are under the age of 21, any amount of alcohol in your blood is grounds for a suspension of your license.
If at the time of your arrest, you have a valid Oregon Driver License, the officer will confiscate your license and issue a temporary “license” or permit for 30 days. Afer 30 days, however, that “permit” is no longer valid.
You are entitled to request a hearing regarding any proposed suspension of your license. However, you must request that hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you fail to make a timely request, you will not be entitled to a hearing, and the proposed suspension will take effect without further notice or opportunity for a hearing.
Suspension lengths vary. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants and you:
- Take a breath test and fail it – DMV will suspend your driving privileges for 90 days. If you have any prior alcohol-related entries on your driving record within five years, DMV will suspend your driving privileges for one year.
- Refuse to take a breath test – DMV will suspend your driving privileges for one year. If you have any prior alcohol-related entries on your driving record within five years, DMV will suspend your driving privileges for three years.
- Refuse to take a urine test – DMV will suspend your driving privileges for one year. If you have any prior alcohol-related entries on your driving record within five years, DMV will suspend your driving privileges for three years. The suspension for refusing a urine test will not start until any other implied consent suspension (even from the same arrest) is over.
- Refuse to take a blood test while receiving medical care in a health care facility following a motor vehicle collision – DMV will suspend your driving privileges for one year. If you have any prior alcohol-related entries on your driving record within five years, DMV will suspend your driving privileges for three years.
- Fail a blood test while receiving medical care in a health care facility following a motor vehicle collision – DMV will suspend your driving privileges for 90 days. If you have any prior alcohol-related entries on your driving record within five years, DMV will suspend your driving privileges for one year. This suspension will begin on the 60th day after DMV received the report that you failed the test. DMV will send a suspension notice to the address on your driving record to inform you of the suspension dates. The officer will not confiscate your driver license and issue a 30-day temporary driving permit. You are required to return any license in your possession to DMV when the suspension begins.
If you are arrested for DUII (DUI), you should immediately contact an attorney to discuss your case. Because you must take action within 10 days of the date you are arrested, it is important that you not delay speaking to an attorney. Our firm understands the urgency of such cases, and we are generally able to speak to you by telephone or in person immediately if you have been arrested for DUII (DUI).
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants is a crime in the State of Oregon. The seriousness of the crime will depend upon your past history with DUII (DUI) in this or another state. Generally DUII (DUI) is a Class A Misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty is up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $6,250.00 or both. If, however, you have previously been convicted of DUII (DUI) on 3 prior occasions within ten years (2 prior occasions under the recently passed Measure 73), then DUII (DUI) is a Class C Felony.
A conviction for DUII carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 48 hours jail or 80 hours of community service, a license suspension, a fine, and the requirement to complete an alcohol treatment program. The length of the license suspension is established by statute and is not subject to modification by the court. On a first conviction (within five years), the suspension period is 1 year. For a second conviction within five years, the suspension period is 3 years. On a third or subsequent conviction, the penalty is the revocation of driving privileges. This is a lifetime revocation. However, after ten years, the individual may petition the court for restoration of privileges to drive, but there is no guarantee that the court will reinstate privileges
If an individual is convicted of a DUII as a Felony, under Measure 73 there is a mandatory jail sentence of 90 days. If an individual is convicted of a fourth DUII within ten years, the presumptive jail sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines is 13 to 14 months in prison. Given the serious nature of a DUII conviction, it is important to receive competent legal advice before making any decisions which may have long term consequences.
If an individual has not been convicted of a DUII (DUI) or participated in a DUII Diversion program within 15 years, that individual may be eligible for entry into the DUII Diversion program. A Diversion allows the individual to avoid a criminal conviction for DUII (DUI), and many of the most serious consequences that flow from a conviction.
Certain individuals are not eligible for a Diversion. The following make an individual automatically ineligible to participate in a Diversion:
- Holding a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
- Operating a Commercial Vehicle at the time of arrest (CDL or not)
- A prior DUII (DUI) or Diversion within 15 years
- An accident involving injury to another person
- A conviction, or pending charges, for certain serious traffic crimes (murder, manslaughter, assault, criminally negligent homicide, arising from the operation of a motor vehicle)
In order to participate in a DUII Diversion program, the individual is required to enter a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” to the criminal charge. If the individual thereafter fails to complete the diversion, the plea cannot be “undone” and the individual is simply convicted of the crime as if found guilty at trial. Therefore, before electing to participate in a diversion, it is important to speak to an attorney regarding your case, and to explore any possible defense you may have to the charge or any possible alternative resolution to the case.
If a diversion petition is granted, the court will place the case “on hold” for one year. The individual will then be required to do the following:
- Pay a fee to the court ($490.00 +/-)
- Complete an alcohol/drug evaluation and pay the fee ($150.00)
- Complete an alcohol/drug treatment program (cost varies by provider)
- Attend a victim impact panel and pay the associated cost ($40.00 +/-)
- For 12 months, not use alcohol.
- Install and Ignition Interlock device for the period of the DUII diversion.
If successfully completed, a DUII Diversion does not result in a conviction for DUII, a license suspension, jail time, or a fine (other than court fees). Therefore, a Diversion is generally a good alternative for an individual who would otherwise be found “guilty” at trial, and who has not participated in a Diversion or other similar program within 15 years. Though an attorney is not required to enter a Diversion, courts will generally encourage individuals considering a Diversion to seek and retain legal counsel. An attorney is able to assist the individual in evaluating the case, preparing the necessary paperwork, and guiding the individual through the processes.