Drunk Driving Defense Law in Oregon

Under Oregon law, drunk driving is considered driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). You will be considered driving over the legal limit legal driving if your blood alcohol content is over 0.08%. Even if a person is not over the limit, they can still be arrested for a DUII if they appear incapable of driving their car safely. Understanding Oregon drunk driving laws can help you understand your rights and find an Oregon DUII defense attorney to help resolve your case.

Oregon Drunk Driving Laws

Oregon law classifies drunk driving as driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Being under the influence of alcohol occurs when the mental or physical abilities of a driver are adversely affected due to alcohol or with a BAC of .08% or more within two hours of driving.

However, some drivers have stricter BAC limits. Commercial drivers may be charged with a DUII for having a BAC of .04% or more. Oregon has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 years old, meaning they may face penalties for having any alcohol in their system at all.

Implied Consent: Yes

Enhanced Penalties: BAC of .15% or more; driving with a child under 18 years old in the vehicle; a prior conviction within ten years; an accident causing injury or death

First-time offenders who are not eligible for a diversion program may be facing a Class A misdemeanor conviction with the following penalties:

  • Two days to one-year imprisonment
  • 80 hours of community service
  • $1,000 minimum fine
  • One-year license suspension

After two convictions within a 10-year period, your current offense increases to a Class C felony with more severe penalties, including a mandatory minimum time to serve of 90 days in jail.  After being sentenced for a Class C felony, there is no more look-back period and you will face a Class C felony for any additional drunk driving offenses.

Reasons for a Drunk Driving Traffic Stop

Oregon police officers are trained to look for signs of impaired driving. If an officer observes drivers committing traffic violations such as driving into oncoming traffic, tailgating, driving without headlights at night, speeding, or stopping in the middle of the street for no apparent reason, the officer can pull the driver over.

If an officer suspects you of driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, they will look for evidence supporting your intoxication or impairment. The officer will look for signs such as:

  • The smell of alcohol on your breath
  • Driving conduct that may indicate impairment, such as swerving into opposite lanes.
  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • Open containers of alcohol or other illegal drug paraphernalia
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