What Happens if My Breath Test Shows I’m Over the Oregon’s Legal Limit?

A man blowing into a breathalyzer.
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Everyone knows driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) is illegal and just plain dangerous. However, sometimes motorists in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon think they can make it home safely even after a night of drinking. You may have even previously driven home safely after a few drinks. However, since alcohol impairs your ability to operate a vehicle safely, you may attract the attention of the police. 

Whether you were speeding, weaving in and out of traffic or otherwise driving recklessly, they will pull you over. They’ll look and listen for signs of impairment as they question you about where you came from or whether you’ve been drinking. They may also ask you to take a voluntary field sobriety test. If an officer suspects you’re impaired, they’ll arrest you on suspicion of DUI and ask you to take a breath test. 

Given the state’s implied consent law, you must consent to this test or your driver’s license will be suspended. You can still be charged with a DUI even if you refused chemical testing. The officer simply needs to show that your ability to drive safely was impaired because you consumed alcohol. It is important to note that your refusal will also be used against you in court and you can still be convicted of DUII.

Breath tests are not always accurate. If there’s reason to doubt the validity of your test results, your Portland DUI lawyer will challenge them. If the blood sample wasn’t collected correctly or handled properly, your attorney will also use this to your advantage. It’s important that you seek legal representation as soon as you have an opportunity to contact an attorney. Your lawyer will do everything they can to help you get the best possible outcome. In some cases, the charges will be dropped, and some drivers are eligible for a DUII diversion program. Others plead guilty or get convicted by the court.

A man blowing into a breathalyzer.

Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Portland

The punishment you will face for a DUI will vary based on the specifics of your case and your DUI history. If it’s your first DUI, you can spend between 48 hours and one year in jail.  You could also be fined up to $2, 000 and have your license suspended for a year. If you’re a second-time offender, you could spend a year in jail and face a fine of up to $10,000. You could also lose your drivers’ license for a maximum of three years. 

For a third DUI, the maximum jail time goes up to five years and you could lose your license permanently. The maximum fine remains at $10,000. If you had a minor in the car when you were pulled over, you can face an additional $10,000 fine.

In Oregon, DUI charges stay on your record permanently. It doesn’t matter whether a court convicts you, you plead guilty to the charges or you participate in a DUII diversion program. There are also other fees associated with a DUI charge. These include:

  • A diagnostic fee
  • An assessment fee
  • An intoxicated driver program fee
  • A unitary assessment fee
  • A county assessment fee 

These amount to more than $400. If you’re eligible for a diversion program, you’ll face additional costs. You’ll plead guilty or no contest to the DUI charge. If you complete the 12-month program, the charges will be dismissed. To get into the program, it must be your first DUI or your first in ten years. You will have to pay a diversion fee, a court assessment fee and possibly a victim impact panel fee. If you have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle later, this will be at your expense. You’ll need to complete the class, pay all the fees, and meet any other requirements before the court dismisses your case. In total, this may cost you an additional $3,000 or more.

Discuss Your Case with the Team at the Trilogy Law Group

The penalties associated with a DUI in Oregon are nothing to scoff at. If you get convicted, you could lose your freedom and the financial burden could be enormous. To escape conviction or at least get a reduced sentence, you need to reach out to a DUI lawyer in Portland. This will give you a fighting chance and help you to protect your criminal record and your reputation. Even if your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit, you shouldn’t give up. Contact the Trilogy Law Group today to get an attorney who will fight on your behalf. A DUII charge doesn’t have to ruin your life.

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