David J. Celuch
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Oregon bill seeks to lower DUII limit

People in Oregon know that the state takes a pretty hard stance against drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants. While it is important to protect people from unnecessary accidents, it is equally important to respect and protect the rights of drivers. Interestingly, even though the law states that a person can be deemed legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, a driver in Oregon may actually be charged with a DUII offense if their BAC exceeds even only 0.05 percent.

This year started off with Utah being the first state in the country to officially lower its drunk driving threshold from 0.08 to 0.05 percent in all cases. Now, Oregon Live reports that the same change is being sought in Oregon.

The president of the State Senate introduced a bill into the legislature in February that, if passed, would make the threshold for drunk driving in Oregon 0.05 just like it is now in Utah. For anyone who has been arrested for and charged with a DUII offense under the current law when their BAC was below 0.08, this change could be significant. 

It is important for people to note that officers are trained to look for a variety of clues that may make them suspect a driver is impaired yet many of these qualities can be present in a person who hasn't been drinking at all. A person who is very tired, for example, can have bloodshot eyes. Slurred speech may be the result of some other disability or physical impairment, not necessarily intoxication.


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