Oregon DUI: Refusal to Take a Blood, Breath, or Urine Test

In Oregon, if you get pulled over for a DUI (driving under the influence) and the officer asks you to take a blood, breath, or urine test, do you have to take one? What happens if you refuse?

Implied Consent

Oregon law requires you to take a blood, breath, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Oregon’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood or breath for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC), or a test of your urine to check for drugs.   The test must be taken as soon as possible from when you were last driving.

Generally, an officer will ask to check your BAC with a breath test. You do not have to take a blood test unless you have been in an accident and need medical attention. In that case, the officer who arrests you can ask you for a blood test while you receive medical care. If the accident left you unconscious, however, then the officer can order a blood test without asking you first.

Refusing to Take the Test


1st  Offense

2d Offense

3rd  Offense

Refusal to take test

1 year license suspension; fine of $500 - $1,000

3 year license suspension; fine of $500 - $1,000

3 year license suspension; fine of $500 - $1,000

After you are arrested, the officer should tell you that if you refuse to take a chemical test, your license will be suspended and evidence of your refusal can be used against you in court. If you are later found guilty of a DUI – even without the results of a chemical test – your suspension will be made longer. You might be able to drive for limited reasons under a hardship permit, but only after you have completed 90 days of your suspension and if you have not been convicted of a DUI within the last five years. The officer should also tell you that if you choose to take the requested test, then you have the right to have additional tests taken by a medical professional of your choice, but you have to pay for them.

 The officer cannot make you take a test once you refuse it. He or she can take your license immediately, however. It it’s place, the officer will give you a temporary permit, which is good for 30 days. You should also get information on how and when to request a hearing to challenge your suspension.

The penalties for your first refusal begin with a fine from $500 to $1,000 and a suspension of your license for one year. For your second or any subsequent refusal within five years, you have to pay the same fine and your suspension will last for three years.

Should You Refuse to Take a Mandatory DUI Test in Oregon?

It usually does not help you to refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test when you are arrested. For a first DUI in Oregon, you will go to jail for two days and pay a fine of $1,000. This is more severe than the penalty for refusal. Still, refusing the test does not guarantee that you won’t be convicted – you could be found guilty of a DUI even if your refusal means that the state does not have proof that your BAC was over .08%, the legal limit for those over 21. In fact, the prosecution can use your refusal against you by arguing that you refused the test because you knew that you were intoxicated and guilty of DUI.

Get Help With Your DUI

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Oregon or any other state, get help from an experienced DUI attorney. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for a DUI has serious consequences – especially if the incident involved injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent DUI. To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about your state’s laws and about how the system works in your county’s court.

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