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DUI and Driving Related Arrests (Oregon)

Oregon DUII
DUII arrests are common and despite their frequency, being charged with a DUII is a frightening experience. Most people charged with DUII have never seen the inside of a police station or a jail and have limited experience with the criminal justice system aside from what they have seen on television.

First Step, the Implied Consent Suspension.

  • A. Most likely, your driving privileges were suspended anywhere from 90 days to 3 years for failing a breath test or refusing a breath, blood, or urine test. Requesting an appeal hearing of your implied consent license suspension is the most pressing matter. Your suspension will typically begin on the 30th day following your arrest.
  • B. To challenge the suspension, the DMV Hearings Case Management Unit must receive your request for a hearing no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 10th day following your arrest.
  • C. It is important to understand that filing an appeal of the implied consent suspension does not mean that the suspension will be overturned. It means that you have an opportunity to challenge the suspension.
  • D. Suspensions are most often overturned because police officers fail to appear at the hearing, police officers fail to turn in paperwork to the DMV, and the police officer’s paperwork is incomplete and/or inaccurate.
  • E. If you do not hire an attorney to contest your suspension, you should request and attend the hearing yourself. Only a small percentage of persons facing an implied consent suspension request a hearing.

Second Step, the Criminal Charges.

  • A. You likely received a citation/ticket or a release agreement ordering you to appear in court for the crime of driving under the influence of intoxicants and possibly some additional crimes or violations including but not limited to reckless driving, refusal to take a breath test, careless driving, etc.
  • B. ORS 813.010 is Oregon’s DUII statute. A person commits the offense of driving while under the influence of intoxicants if the person drives a vehicle while the person:
    • i. Has 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the blood of the person as shown by chemical analysis of the breath or blood of the person;
    • ii. Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance or an inhalant; or
    • iii. Is under the influence of any combination of intoxicating liquor, an inhalant and a controlled substance.
  • C. You must attend the court appearance listed on your citation/ticket or release agreement or a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. In some Oregon counties, if you hire an attorney before your initial court appearance you might be able to be absent from the hearing.
  • D. After your initial court appearance, it is imperative that you have the opportunity to review the State’s evidence or discovery. Discovery includes but is not limited to police reports, audio or video recordings, pictures, and/or lab reports. These items are the State’s case against you. You need to be able to review and analyze the strength of the State’s case as well as possible defenses and/or malfeasances by the investigating and arresting officer or officers before you decide what to do next.

Third Step Talk to a DUII Attorney.
You have a constitutional right to represent yourself in the face of criminal prosecution. But keep in mind, Oregon DUII defense is a complex area of law with far-reaching implications. Your driving privileges can be suspended for months, years, or a lifetime, you can be required to install an ignition interlock device to operate a motor vehicle, and you can face a sentence that includes jail and supervision by the court or a probation officer. Working with a DUII Attorney’s command and knowledge of the process will allow you to navigate and understand the process. If you cannot afford to hire your own lawyer, you should apply for court appointed counsel to represent you. It is imperative to have representation in this process.

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