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Drunk Driving Laws in Oregon

There are many drunk driving accidents in Oregon and Washington each year and there are drunk driving laws to try and curb those accidents. Many people end up injured or dead as a result of drunk drivers. Here is an article from ODOT about drunk driving prevention in Oregon.

If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, contact our firm at 503-280-0888 or toll free at 1-877-908-1900 in OR and WA to get an attorney on your side.

What are the drunk driving laws in Oregon?

DRIVERS UNDER THE INFLUENCE DON’T STAND A CHANCE IN OREGON

PEOPLE WHO DRIVE IMPAIRED ARE DANGEROUS

Each year, thousands of people are injured and more than 20 are killed on Oregon streets and highways. Often the reason: drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.alchohol and keys

In fact, impaired drivers kill and injure more people than all other violent criminals put together. The cost in human suffering is incalculable.

OREGON IS TOUGH ON IMPAIRED DRIVERS- OUR DUII LAWS ARE PROOF

To help fight impaired drivers, Oregon drunk driving laws say anyone with .08 percent or more blood alcohol content is “under the influence.” People who fail the breath test automatically lose their license for at least 90 days.

Drivers who refuse to take the test lose their license for at least a year. Plus, they get a trip to the police station, complete with handcuffs, mug shots and fingerprints. The same thing happens to drivers who fail or refuse a urine test to determine if they are under the influence of inhalants or other controlled substances.

If convicted in court, impaired drivers spend at least 48 hours in jail or up to 250 hours in community service. They lose their license for another year or more. They also pay fines, fees, assessments, costs for an alcohol treatment program, legal fees and higher insurance costs.

That’s not all: they must file proof that they have liability insurance with the department of Transportation before any license or permit can be issued. And, before any hardship or probationary permit can be issued, they must pay a $75 reinstatement fee.

It all adds up to thousands of dollars.

.08 PERCENT IS NOT A MAGIC NUMBER

Even though .08 percent is the level at which Oregon law says all drivers are “under the influence,” it’s not a magic number. Some people are impaired as drivers after only one drink (1 oz. 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. Beer, or 5 oz. Glass of wine).

Reaction time and judgment are impaired for all drivers at levels as low as .04 percent. Even if you are below .08 percent, you can still be arrested and convicted of DUII.

“Driving under the influence of intoxicants” also includes inhalants or other controlled substances, including prescription drugs that affect driving ability. If a driver mixes any of these- alcohol, controlled substances, inhalants- ability to drive worsens.

Oregon now has hundreds of specially trained police officers (Drug Recognition Experts) who can recognize all kinds of impaired drivers.

For drivers under 21, driving completely sober is the only legal way to go. Underage drivers automatically lose their license for at least 90 days if a breath test shows any amount of alcohol- anything above .00 percent.

As with all drivers, if they refuse to take the breath test or urine test, they’ll lose their license for at least a year. In other words, Oregon has zero tolerance for underage drinking drivers. Commercial drivers also face penalties at a lower BAC level- .04 percent.

Other drunk driving laws

Oregon has two other important laws in their war against impaired driving. An open container of any alcoholic beverage in a vehicle could produce a fine of up to $300, plus court-ordered license suspension. There also are fees to cover court and other related costs.

POLICE AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WHO STOP IMPAIRED DRIVERS

Everyone can help prevent impaired drivers from hitting the road. If you’re out with friends and people are drinking, make sure there’s a designated non-drinking driver in the group.

If you think friends are impaired, take their keys. Then, call a cab or drive them home. If needed, let them sleep over at your place. Do something, but just don’t let them drive under the influence.

It’s up to everyone to help get impaired drivers off the road. If you spot a car that looks like it may have an impaired driver, call this toll-free reporting number: 1-800-24-Drunk or 1-800-243-7865 .

CONSEQUENCES: DUII ARREST

The consequences for the first offense are:

  1. Jail 48 hours up to 1 year
  2. Fines and penalties $1,000 to $2,000
  3. License suspension for a year

HOW TO SPOT SOMEONE WHO’S DRIVING IMPAIRED

IN PERSON:

-Lack of coordination

-Difficulty walking

-Rambling conversation

-Slurred speech

-Bloodshot eyes

-Loud, aggressive behavior

-Overly friendly/annoying

ON THE ROAD:

-Too fast or slow speeds

-Unusually wide turns

-Driving at night without lights

-Driving too close to shoulders or curbs

-Straddling the center line

-Weaving, swerving, or drifting

-Windows down in cold or wet weather

“Drivers under the influence don’t have a chance in Oregon.” Transportation Safety- Oregon Department of transportation.

Todd Peterson, Wa & OR attorney on the telephoneThink you have a case?

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