Many people in Portland celebrate Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer. They may attend a back yard barbecue, go camping or spend the day at the beach. These fun times, however, can come to a halt if a person is pulled over on their way home from these events and is accused of drunk driving. When this happens, it is important to understand Oregon’s DUI laws.
When can you be arrested for DUI in Oregon?
There are several grounds upon which a person can be arrested for DUI under Oregon law. The first, and the one many people are already familiar with, is if a person’s blood alcohol concentration is at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. This is known as DUI per se, meaning that no additional evidence is needed to arrest and charge a person.
However, Oregon law also has a provision stating that a person cannot operate a motor vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol. This means that, as long as there is supporting evidence such as officer observation or failed field sobriety tests, a person can be arrested and charged with DUI even if their BAC is below the legal limit.
It is easy for many to understand why driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person with a BAC of 0.08% can experience short-term memory loss and can have difficulty concentrating. They may be unable to control the speed of their vehicle, may find it more difficult to process information and may have impaired perception.
However, can a BAC below the legal limit affect a person’s driving abilities. According to the NHTSA it can. A person with a BAC of 0.05% may find a reduction in their coordination. They may find it more difficult to follow moving objects and steering their vehicle. They may also have a reduced response to emergencies on the road.
Learn more about DUI in Oregon
As this shows, you do not need to have a BAC at or above the legal limit to be arrested and charged with DUI in Oregon. Having a solid understanding of state DUI law is important to developing a strong defense strategy. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s website on DUI may be of interest to those who want to learn more about this topic.