In Oregon, a person can be convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) for driving:
A person is considered “under the influence” when the person’s “physical or mental facilities are adversely affected to a noticeable or perceptible degree.”
When an offender is arrested for DUII, administrative (license related) penalties are normally imposed, even if there is ultimately no criminal conviction. And if the offender is convicted of a DUII in court, there are criminal penalties in addition to the administrative penalties already imposed.
This article discusses the administrative and criminal penalties associated with a third DUII in Oregon.
Generally, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will administratively suspend the license of any driver who’s arrested for a DUII and fails or refuses to take a breath, blood, or urine test. A DUII conviction will also lead to a license suspension as a “criminal penalty” as discussed below. (Get more information about administrative versus court suspensions.)
In most circumstances, a BAC of .08% or more is deemed a failed test. However, for a person who holds a commercial driver’s license, a BAC of .04% or more is considered a failed test. The suspension for a failed test is one year if, within five years of the current offense, the offender was convicted of a DUII, participated in a DUII diversion or similar alcohol/drug program, or had driving privileges suspended under the implied consent law (for a failed test or refusal). The suspension is 90 days if the driver has no such events within the past five years.
If a motorist refuses to take a breath, blood, or urine test in violation of the state’s implied consent laws within five years of a DUII conviction, DUII diversion (or similar program), or implied consent suspension, the DMV will suspend the motorist’s driving privileges for three years. The suspension is one year if the driver has no such events within the past five years. A suspension for refusing to take a urine test is consecutive to any other suspension imposed under the implied consent laws.
In addition to court fines resulting from a DUII conviction, a $650 fine is imposed if a motorist refuses a breath or urine test.
After completing a waiting period—of 30 days to a year, depending on the circumstances—the offender may apply for a “hardship permit.” A hardship permit allows a person with a suspended license to drive to work, medical appointments, and drug/alcohol treatment.
Jail and fines. A third DUII is a class C felony if the defendant has been convicted of a DUII at least two times in the ten years prior to the date of the current offense. A third DUII conviction within ten years is known as a “Measure 73 DUII,” and the court must sentence the defendant to a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail. A class C felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
A third DUII can be a class A misdemeanor if at least one of the two prior DUII convictions did not occur within the ten-year time period. A class A misdemeanor DUII carries up to one year in the county jail and a maximum fine of $6,250. Judges must sentence a person convicted of a misdemeanor DUII to at least 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service work. However, judges typically sentence third offenders to serve significantly more jail time than the minimum.
For a third or subsequent DUII conviction, the minimum fine is $2,000 if the person is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment or had a BAC of 0.15% or more. And if there was a passenger in the motor vehicle who was under 18 years old and at least three years younger than the driver, the court can impose a maximum fine of $10,000.
Any additional incarceration and/or community service imposed beyond the minimum is in the trial judge’s discretion. When deciding on jail time and community service, judges typically consider factors such as the timing of prior DUII offenses, criminal history, the offender’s BAC and whether the offense involved an accident or injuries.
Once a person has been convicted of a Measure 73 DUII, any subsequent DUII is a class C felony regardless of the amount of time between episodes.
Probation. A person convicted of a third DUII within ten years will typically serve two years of supervised probation. Fines, community service, treatment requirements, and other penalties may be imposed as conditions of probation.
License Suspension. In addition to the administrative suspension discussed above, the judge must impose a permanent license revocation for a third DUII conviction. An offender is not eligible to apply for a hardship permit. After ten years from the date of revocation, an offender may petition the court to restore driving privileges.
If a person petitions the court and is able to successfully restore driving privileges after ten years, installation and use of an ignition interlock device (IID) is required in any vehicle operated by the offender. For a third DUII conviction, an IID is required for two to five years, depending on the timing of prior DUII convictions.
Substance abuse screening. All third DUII offenders must complete a screening assessment and a substance abuse treatment program. The screening assessment is $150 and determines the type of program the offender must complete. However, all treatment programs must include a minimum of four sessions over four weeks and 12 to 20 hours of substance abuse education. The offender is typically responsible for the costs of the assessment and treatment program.
Victim impact panels. The court also requires DUII offenders to attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP). The VIP is a one-day class that covers the consequences of DUII accidents. The offender is usually responsible for the fee, which ranges from $5 to $50.
The DUII statutes and administrative rules in Oregon are complex, and the consequences of multiple DUII arrests and/or convictions can be severe. If you have been arrested for a DUII, you should consult a criminal defense attorney in your area to assist with your case.