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Oregon DUI Insurance Laws

Here's what you need to know...
  • It is mandatory to take a BAC test when being checked for a DUI
  • There are three possible convictions for a DUI in Oregon, the next one more serious than the last
  • SR22 insurance is required after being convicted of a DUI
  • Overall, Oregon falls below the average when it comes to DUI-related fatalities

Oregon is one of many states that has extremely strict laws when it comes to driving immediately or shortly thereafter the consumption of any intoxicants or alcohol (DUI).  If stopped, you could face stiff penalties that could destroy your finances, your future, and your freedom.

A DUI penalty would apply to:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more
  • .04 for commercial drivers
  • Zero tolerance limit of .02 for those under 21

Breaking DUI insurance laws are a serious matter and will greatly raise your car insurance!

In other words, if you happen to be in Oregon and to be drinking, don’t drive. Besides alcohol, the DUI in the State of Oregon applies to:

  • Marijuana
  • Inhalants
  • Cocaine, etc.

Stay away from getting a DUI and having your car insurance company raise your insurance price!

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What is an SR22?

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An SR22 is an insurance plan in Oregon that is high risk and sometimes applied to DUI license suspensions and DUI cases. SR22 allows you to drive your automobile with restrictions. Purchased from an insurance company, an SR22 is a certificate that shows that you meet Oregon’s statutory minimum car insurance coverage, as it applies to your automobile policy.

Should you not meet the minimum or should the policy be canceled, the insurance company must let the Oregon DMV know immediately. If the statutory minimum is not met or the policy is canceled, the DMV will immediately suspend your license if you’ve been convicted of a DUI.

SR22 insurance in Oregon is issued for two reasons. One is because you received a DUI conviction, and the other is because you are applying for a hardship license.

If you receive a hardship license, you will be able to operate your vehicle, but you will need to purchase an ignition interlock device before driving.

DUI Diversion Program

First-time offenders in Oregon are sometimes eligible for the DUI Diversion Program. This educational program takes about a year to complete and involves rehabilitation, evaluation, and education in lieu of facing a DUI conviction. The benefits of participating in this program meant for first-time offenders only include:

The benefits of participating in this program meant for first-time offenders only include:

  • Clean driving history upon completion of course
  • Court fees and other fees substantially reduced
  • No license suspension
  • No jail time or community service

Oregon DUI Requirements

A man testing a breathalyzer.

Anyone in Oregon convicted must agree to treatment consisting of 50 hours over a six month period for a first offender and 100 hours over one year for those convicted of a second DUI. Treatment costs are assumed by the offenders, as are any additional testing involved.

Additionally, any first-time offenders arrested for drunk driving or drug consumption will lose their driver’s license for one year. They also either spend at least 48 hours incarcerated or serve 80 hours of community service.

Breathalyzers are mandatory in Oregon, and if someone is pulled over by an officer and refuses this test, his license is immediately evoked.

First DUI Requirements

First-time offenders must also pay a minimum fee of $1,000, in addition to other fees and penalties that could include:

  • Assessment fee, $40
  • Enrollment in an intoxicated driver program, $130
  • $95 unitary assessment fee
  • County assessment fee, $59
  • Diagnostic fee, $90
  • Possible probation
  • Alcohol and addiction evaluation*
  • Mandatory attendance at impact panel for victims
  • Convictions of .08 or more come with a mandatory requirement to install an ignition interlock system in order reinstate driver’s license

Evaluations are done to determine how extensive a drug and/or alcohol problem anyone with a DUI conviction might have.

Second DUI Requirements

Should you be convicted of a second DUI in Oregon, the requirements intensify and include:

  • Fines from $1,500 to $10,000
  • Jail sentencing of five days to one year or community service
  • Loss of driver’s license for a year
  • License plates and vehicle impounded
  • Likely probation period
  • Alcohol and addiction evaluation
  • Mandatory attendance to impact panel
  • Mandatory ignition interlock system in order to reclaim license

As with first offenders, second offenders must undergo a mandatory evaluation to determine how extensive their problem with alcohol or drugs is.

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Three Strikes and You’re Out For Third Drunk Driving Offenses

In Oregon State, if arrested and convicted a third time for a DUI, you could face:

  • Felony classified as a C felony if third DUI occurs within 10 years of the last conviction
  • Up to a five years prison sentence
  • Likelihood of $2,000 to $10,000 in fines
  • Permanent loss of license
  • An extended period of probation
  • Evaluation of drug and alcohol addiction
  • Impact panel attendance

Although not a mandatory requirement, it is advised that anyone in Oregon charged with a DUI contact a lawyer, who will review your case and work to set up an Oregon DMV hearing for you. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, the lawyer may be able to reduce some of the penalties you face.

Anyone arrested for an Oregon DUI must allow for a breath or blood test to determine blood alcohol concentration.

If for any reason, this test is refused, the policeman on the scene responsible for your arrest will immediately take your license to comply with the law in Oregon. At a court appearance, the refusal to test will be viewed as an admission of guilt.

For your information, there are calculators and charts available that can help you figure out the concentration of alcohol in your blood, which is determined by your weight, the number of drinks consumed and the time span between each drink.

DUI Accident Statistics in Oregon

man in front of car accident

In the State of Oregon from 2005 to 2009, it was reported by The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration that 30 percent of all traffic accidents resulting in death were caused by drivers with BACs over the set legal limit.

The fatality statistics were calculated for Oregon using the absolute number of traffic accidents that were fatal, then recalculated considering the number of driving fatalities related to alcohol per 100 million automobile traveled miles.

Using this process, NHTSA was able to compare Oregon to other states, no matter what the density of the population.

Oregon falls slightly below the average on a national level for alcohol related fatalities because of impaired drivers.

Oregon State Insurance Options

Oregon has no car insurance requirements for all insurance companies to offer or promote high-risk car insurance to those convicted of DUIs. The state does offer SR22 coverage (see above), which is essentially high-risk insurance.

Companies that do offer SR22 usually do so at a very high premium.

SR22 coverage in Oregon can easily be found by searching the Internet for Oregon car insurance coverage.

Final Words of Wisdom for an Oregon DUI

In summary, drunk driving convictions in Oregon have a staggering effect on the accused driver, whether it is a first offense or one of many. In each case, the consequences are most often major, and it is an extremely rare case whereby an attorney can have all charges expunged from a driver’s record.

Having an attorney and carrying SR22 or high-risk insurance is a good idea in order to minimize the consequences one pays for DUI offenses. Both can be found by researching the Internet and comparing attorneys specializing in DUI Oregon cases and by comparing several insurance companies that offer high risk and SR22 insurance coverage.

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