DUI vs DUII


If you’re pulled over for driving drunk in Oregon, the prosecution won’t charge you with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you will be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. This is because the state of Oregon classifies this offense differently than in other states. Drunk driving is a term used as the commonly accepted phrase, but from a legal perspective, it is understood that impaired driving can occur due to many different substances other than and including alcohol.

DUII’s Meaning in Oregon

DUII stands for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants. Oregon’s clear definition for DUII charges makes all forms of impairment while driving equally illegal. While intoxicants such as alcohol or prescription medications may not be illegal on their own, Oregon’s DUII laws regarding how individuals use them while driving are clear. If your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher, you can be charged with a DUII whether your driving was impaired or not—this is known as a “per se” DUII. Conversely, you can also be charged with a DUII when your blood alcohol concentration is zero if your physical or mental capacities are impaired to a noticeable and perceptible degree by drugs or alcohol.

Oregon’s DUII Penalties

According to Oregon law, if you operate a motor vehicle, you are inherently consenting to submitting yourself to a chemical test to determine the concentration of drugs or alcohol in your bloodstream. These chemical tests can include breath, urine, and blood tests—if you fail or refuse any of these, your license can be suspended. Oregon’s DUII laws make it clear that offenses of this kind are serious.

However, for first-time offenders, a conviction is classified as a misdemeanor which can result in fines, a license suspension, probation, jail time, community service, and classes. Fines and penalties increase with repeated offenses and will become felony DUII charges for those convicted at least two times prior within the last ten years. Felony DUII charges can result in prison time, significantly increased fines, as well as a criminal record that can significantly impact your livelihood.

Oregon’s DUII Diversion Laws

The diversion program gives defendants an opportunity to dismiss their DUII charge if they can successfully complete certain court-ordered obligations. If you complete these obligations, you can avoid most of the mandatory penalties required for a DUII conviction. However, Oregon’s DUII diversion program is typically for those facing a first-time DUII.

It is important that you have an attorney who will help guide you through this difficult time in your life. Jared Justice has extensive experience working to defend his clients in courts throughout Oregon. If you have any questions about your situation, don’t hesitate—contact Jared Justice today.


Disclaimer: Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. For advice on a legal matter, contact an attorney. Contact Jared Justice at 503-722-3981 or jaredjustice@me.com.

Jared Justice is available to practice anywhere in the state of Oregon. He focuses on practicing in the following State Courts: Clackamas, Multnomah, Yamhill, Marion, and Washington Counties. He also practices in the following Municipal Courts: Lake Oswego, West Linn, Newberg, Canby, McMinnville, Troutdale, Oregon City, Beaverton, Milwaukie, Gladstone, and just about every other court in the Portland area.