Whenever someone is arrested for a DUII, they face two potential suspensions of the Oregon driving privileges (your driving privileges are your right to either have or to apply for an Oregon Drivers License). The first potential suspension a person faces is for a breath, blood, or urine test failure or refusal. This suspension is called an Implied Consent Suspension.
Implied Consent Suspensions
Implied Consent Suspensions are administrative actions undertaken by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This suspension is solely based upon a failure or refusal of a breath, blood, or urine test. It is completely separate from any suspension that may occur if the person is actually convicted for a DUII or other traffic offense. The Implied Consent Suspensions can be contested in an Administrative Hearing – the request for a Hearing must be received within 10 days of the arrest.
If a person fails a breath test the base suspension is 90 days. If a person refuses to take a breath test the base suspension is 1 year. Suspensions for breath test refusal or failure take effect on the 30th day following the arrest.
If a person fails a blood test the base suspension is 90 days. If a person refuses to take a blood test the base suspension is 1 year. A person is typically asked to take a blood test after being involved in a motor vehicle accident and needing medical treatment. A blood test refusal suspension takes effect on the 30th day following the persons arrest for DUII. A blood test failure suspension begins on the 60th day after the date the form is received at DMV.
Sometimes a person is asked to submit to a urine test. They may be asked to submit to a urine test if they were involved in an accident resulting in an injury or property damage. They may also be asked to submit to a urine test if they had a breath test result of under .08%. There is no suspension for failing a urine test, only for refusing to take the urine test. Refusing to take a urine test will result in a 1 year suspension. If there is no other implied consent suspension issued or in effect, a suspension for refusing to submit to a urine test will take effect on the 30th day following arrest. Otherwise, a suspension for refusing to submit to a urine test will be consecutive to any other implied consent suspension, including any implied consent suspension resulting from the same arrest.
Increased Suspension Lengths
The base suspensions can be increased if any of the following happened within five years prior to the current arrest: (1) A previous DUII conviction in Oregon or any other jurisdiction; (2) Participation in a DUII Diversion or similar alcohol or drug program in Oregon or any other jurisdiction; or (3) a previous suspension of driving privileges under the Oregon Implied Consent Laws. The suspension lengths are increase to 1 year for failing a breath or blood test and 3 years for refusing either a breath, blood, or urine test.
If a person has a commercial drivers license the suspensions for failing or refusing an implied consent test are increased and range from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum increased suspension of “lifetime”.
Hardship Permit Application Waiting Periods
It is sometimes possible to obtain a hardship permit that allows a person to drive (1) to and from work, (2) on the job, (3) while seeking employment, and (4) to drug and alcohol classes.
However, there are required waiting periods before an application can be submitted for Implied Consent Suspensions. For a breath or blood test failure the waiting period on a base suspension is 30 days and the waiting period on an increased suspension is 1 year. For a breath, blood, or urine refusal the waiting period on a base suspension is 90 days and the waiting period on an increased suspension is 3 years. For a urine test refusal suspension that is consecutive to another implied consent suspension, the waiting period on a base suspension is 180 days and the waiting period on an increased suspension is 3 years.
There is no ability to obtain a hardship permit for the operation of commercial motor vehicles.