If you have a DUI conviction – officially referred to as Driving While Under the Influence of Intoxicants, or DUII, in Oregon – you may wonder how long that conviction will stay on your record. The short answer, if you live in Oregon, is forever. A DUII conviction does not drop off after a set amount of time, and Oregon state law precludes expungements, or “set asides,” as they are called in Oregon, for DUII convictions. Once a DUII conviction is on your record, it's there for life.
What Are Oregon’s DUII Laws?
In Oregon, drivers over 21 are considered to be driving under the influence of intoxicants if their blood alcohol reading is 0.08 percent or more. The legal limit for commercial drivers, including bus drivers, is 0.04 percent. If you are under 21, zero alcohol is permitted to be in your system. Drivers are also prohibited from driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, cannabis, any controlled substance, inhalants or any combination of these.
Like most states, Oregon has an implied consent law, meaning that by driving a motor vehicle you have agreed that you will consent to a breathalyzer test, a blood test or a urine test if requested by law enforcement. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, blood or urine test, your license may be suspended for one to three years for that refusal alone.
Drivers convicted of a DUII may have their licenses suspended. The suspension is typically for a period of 90 days to one year for a first conviction and three years for a second conviction within five years. A license will be permanently revoked for three or more convictions or for a felony DUII. Other penalties include a fine, which increases with the number of convictions, and the installation of an ignition interlock device, which is used to check a driver's breath alcohol content for a set time after his license is reinstated following a DUII conviction.
Read More: Oregon Probate Laws
How Long Is a DUII on Your Record in Oregon?
Once you are convicted of a DUII in Oregon, no law allows a court to later erase that conviction from your record. Oregon does have mechanisms in place to have some crimes expunged, or set aside, from your record. However, Oregon Revised Statute 137.225 specifically precludes set asides for certain traffic-related offenses, including driving under the influence of intoxicants and driving while suspended.
If you were arrested on suspicion of a DUII, but not convicted, either because the case was never filed, the charges were dismissed or because you were ultimately acquitted of the crime, you are eligible to have that DUII arrest set aside. You can file a request to set aside the record of your arrest at any time after the charges were dismissed or you were acquitted.
Oregon’s Diversion Program for DUII Offenders
Oregon does allow certain DUII offenders to enter into a diversion program. An offender enters the program after being arrested, but before any DUII conviction. If you complete the requirements of the program, the charge is ultimately dismissed. But DUII offenders who have successfully completed the diversion program do not qualify to have their arrest records set aside under Oregon Law. Therefore, the arrest will remain on your record, but no conviction will be entered.
How Oregon's DUII Laws Compare to Other States
Oregon is relatively strict when it comes to criminal records, including DUII convictions and arrests. Most states will allow a drunk driving conviction to be expunged after a set period of time. Utah, for example, allows DUI convictions to be expunged after 10 years if no subsequent offenses have occurred.
Sally Brooks is a writer living in New York City with her chunky toddler and patient husband. She graduated magna cum laude from the University Cincinnati College of Law and her work has been featured in Jurist and the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review.