What Happens If I Refuse a DUI Chemical Test In Oregon?

In the event that you should be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI), you will be taken to the police station and asked to submit to a chemical breath test, blood test, or urine test to measure the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. Under the Oregon “implied consent” law, by driving a vehicle on public roads, you have already consented to any chemical testing that an arresting officer should request in the event of your lawful arrest. This test must be taken as soon as possible from the time in which you were last driving, and it is up to the officer to determine which test you will take.

In most cases, the driver will consent to these chemical tests and field sobriety tests and in the case that the person’s blood alcohol level is found to be above 0.08%, the person’s driving privileges will be suspended and they may face either 48 hours of jail time or 80 hours of community service, in addition to a $1000 fine. But, according to Oregon law, what happens if the driver refuses?

Refusing to submit to a chemical test will bring the following penalties:

  • First refusal: Up to $1,000 in fines and a 1-year driver’s license suspension
  • Second or subsequent refusal: Up to $1,000 in fines and a 3-year driver’s license suspension

Immediately upon refusal, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a 30-day temporary driving permit. The officer should also inform you that you have a right to contest your suspension at a DMV administrative license suspension hearing. You must request this hearing within 10 days of refusing a chemical test. Having an attorney present can help you prepare for this hearing and, in some cases, they attend on your behalf and fight to protect your driving privileges.

If your suspension is upheld following this DMV hearing or if you fail to schedule a hearing in time, you may be able to apply for a hardship permit after you have served 90 days of your suspension and if you do not have any DUI convictions within the past five years. If you refused a test of alcoholic content and have had a prior DUI conviction in the past five years, your wait time before being considered for a hardship permit may increase to up to three years. It is important to note that hardship licenses are not guaranteed and are issued by the DMV on a case-by-case basis.

If you don’t have any prior DUI convictions, a DUII diversion program may be appropriate to earn a dismissal of charges by following court-ordered instructions.

Should I refuse or submit to a chemical test?

It is rarely a good idea to refuse a test, as a test refusal is oftentimes used by the prosecution as evidence of guilt. Depriving the prosecution of measurable evidence of your intoxication will not guarantee you victory in court, as the state merely needs to prove that you were intoxicated to a point where it was unsafe for you to operate a motor vehicle in order for you to be found guilty. Instead, as an arrested driver, it is best to submit to a test and contact an attorney.

Contact a powerful DUI Lawyer in Lincoln City

A DUII conviction can have a massive impact on your personal and professional livelihood and follow you around for the rest of your life. If you are facing a DUII charge, a skilled Lincoln City criminal defense attorney from Zantello Law Group can use their vast legal knowledge to protect both your freedom and driving privileges. Backed by decades of experience, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.

Do not take any chances with your future – call or contact us online today.


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