Can I get a DUI if I blow under a .08%?

The short answer is yes.

There are two ways a prosecutor can prove a DUI in Oregon. The first, and most common way, is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your blood alcohol content was a .08% or higher. Usually through a breathalyzer or a blood test.

The second way they can prove guilt is by arguing that you’re impaired. Specifically, your physical or mental faculties were adversely affected by the use of intoxicating liquor to a noticeable or perceptible degree.

Let’s say you blow a .07% and you think you’re in the clear. In reality, cops don’t like to give up on arrests all that easy. So if the officer still thought you were impaired you can still get charged with a DUI.

Portland DUI Lawyer Blog

I’ve started posting recently and I just realized I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Andy Green and I’m a DUI lawyer here in Portland, OR. I also practice criminal defense. A DUI is a crime that affects all people, regardless of background. I want to use this blog to answer common questions I receive from clients about all matters relating to Oregon DUI’s. If you have any questions or something you want me to post about, email me at andy@andygreenlaw.com. You can also follow me on google plus here and on Twitter at @DUILawyerPDX. See you soon!

The Difference Between a First DUI and a First DUI Conviction in Oregon

One of the biggest misunderstandings people have when they first contact me is the difference between a first DUI and a first DUI conviction. Now a first DUI could result in a first conviction, but most of the time it doesn’t.

In Oregon, if you are arrested for a DUI for the first time and you meet certain qualifications, you will be eligible for a Diversion. A Diversion is an agreement with the Court that allows you to avoid a conviction.  If you successfully complete the Diversion, the DUI is dismissed after 12 months and a conviction is avoided. A person is only eligible for 1 DUI Diversion every 15 years..

Now if you have already successfully completed a DUI Diversion in the past 15 years and you are arrested for another DUI, then you will be looking at a first DUI conviction.

A first DUI conviction in Oregon will result in a minimum 48 hours in jail or 80 hours of community service. Additionally there will be a minimum $1000 fine and a 1 year license suspension. A conviction will also require the treatment conditions that were present in the diversion as well. Depending on what county your conviction occurs in there will be 12-36 months of either supervised or bench probation.

So given that Oregon allows most people to avoid a conviction on their first DUI arrest, it’s very possible to have been arrested for DUI twice, but only have one DUI conviction.

It’s also important to point out that a person who does DUI Diversion will not have the jail, community service, fines and license suspensions that are associated with a first time conviction.