Oregon Duii vs Dui

If you are pulled over while driving in Oregon, chances are you won’t be charged with a a DUI. This is because in Oregon, intoxicated driving is not called DUI or DWI, it’s called DUII. DUII stands for driving under the influence of intoxicants. This is a different designation than in other states where it is simply referred to as driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated or even driving while impaired.

Years ago, this would simply be referred to as ‘drunk driving’. Because of Oregon’s different name, there is now a clear definition about what can be considered illegal and it is a lot more than just alcohol. A DUII can be due to intoxication from liquor, substances or inhalants. Intoxication can also be be from one intoxicant or even a combination of a few.

Drunk driving as a name used to work, but we now know that impaired driving can occur from many different things. Alcohol just happens to be one that most people are familiar with. Controlled substances, including prescription medication, can impair a driver’s ability to maintain a vehicle. However, in many situations, the laws for impairment from substances other than alcohol are not straightforward.  Oregon’s definition for DUII makes all forms of impairment equally as illegal. While the intoxicants on their own may not be illegal, laws concerning their use while driving are clear. For example, it may not be  illegal to consume alcohol or use prescription medication but it is illegal to operate a vehicle after being intoxicated from either.

The state can determine the presence of intoxicants by a variety of chemical tests. These test include breath tests, urine test, and blood tests. Breath tests are commonly used to determine alcohol intoxication. In Oregon, refusing to take a breath test will result in a license suspension.

Blood and urine tests are also used to measure intoxicants in the body. A urine tests can be given to test for the presence of controlled substances or inhaled substances. Refusing to take a urine test will also result in a license suspension. Blood tests are required following a motor vehicle collision if the driver requires medical care. Refusing a blood test in this circumstance will result in a license suspension.

A DUII conviction in Oregon is a serious offense. For first time offenders, a conviction of DUII  is a misdemeanor, but fines and penalties increase with repeated offenses. For those found guilty of DUII misdemeanor offenses can lead to a felony charge.

Misdemeanor charges result in fines and  license suspension, but they can also include probation, jail time, and classes. Felony DUII charges can occur for those convicted of DUII at least two times prior within the last ten  years. Felony DUII charges can result in prison time, rather than jail, and the fines are significantly increased. Drivers convicted of a felony DUII will also have a criminal record that can impact their livelihood significantly.

Criminal charges are a troubling result of a DUII conviction, but many drivers struggle with the mandatory license suspension that follows. License suspensions can affect a person’s ability to provide for themselves or their family. All DUII convictions will result in license suspension, but first time offenders can apply for a hardship. A hardship permit will restore driving privileges. Drivers convicted of a DUII for a third time will receive a permanent license suspension and are not eligible for hardship.

Driving under the influence of anything has the potential to get any driver in trouble in Oregon. If it affects your ability to drive, and can be measured in a blood or urine test, chances are it could cost you your driving privileges. Oregon may call it something different, but a DUII is no different than the rest- a huge pain in the pocket.

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