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Can I refuse a breathalyzer in Oregon?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2023 | Firm News |

When summertime hits with unprecedented heat and air quality concerns, you may find yourself passing the time differently. If you go to a restaurant to catch a baseball game or a meal to seek some relief from the heat, you are not alone.

But, what happens when you drive yourself home and you find yourself opposite a law enforcement officer asking you to take a breathalyzer test? What does Oregon law say? Can you refuse?

Implied consent

Many states, including Oregon, operate under a principle called implied consent. Implied consent means that by driving a motor vehicle on that state’s roads, you implicitly agree to take a breathalyzer if an officer asks you to because they have reasonable grounds to do so.

Oregon law also spells out possible consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test, which includes a possible one-year suspension of your license. By comparison, for failing the breathalyzer with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, a license suspension would be 90 days.

Are there any options?

Technically, you do have the option to refuse the test, but you also face automatic penalties. You also have the right to request to speak with a lawyer or another person prior to taking the breathalyzer. You still may be asked to take the test afterward, but you should have a reasonable chance to contact a lawyer or another contact.

Police can also seek a warrant to get certain samples, like blood, with no consent.

Aside from the initial breathalyzer or sometimes, blood test is used instead, you may face additional citations or charges following a traffic stop where DUI or driving under the influence is suspected.

Possible consequences for a conviction of a DUI offense are varied and could include loss of license, fines and mandatory jail time or special ignition devices. However, you can seek assistance in any stage of the DUI process, from the moment the officer asks for a breathalyzer and beyond.