Oregon DUII Vehicle Law
For the purposes of Oregon DUII law, a person must be driving a vehicle.  So, what constitutes a vehicle?  It shouldn’t come as a shock that vehicles include cars and trucks and motorcycles and things of that nature — motor vehicles. DUII also applies to boats under ORS 830.325.  What about everything else a person can ride, paddle, or “drive”?

Bicycles are a Vehicle Under Oregon DUII Law

Yes, riding a bike, even though it doesn’t require a driver license, doesn’t have a motor, and doesn’t require insurance, is considered a vehicle for the purposes of DUII.  The Court of Appeals of Oregon addressed this question in State v. Woodruff, 81 Or.App. 484 (1986).  In short, Woodruff was arrested for DUI while riding his bicycle along Hwy. 97, outside Bend, Oregon.  The administration of a breath test suggested defendant had a BAC greater than 0.08%, the legal limit.  Defendant’s attorney argued the breath test was not admissible because the Implied Consent Law does not apply to bicyclists.

 
Oregon DUII - Under the Influence

DUI Impairment – All it takes, is less than an O’Eight.

In the first installment of our series on What DUII means in Oregon, we covered Driving and what it takes to be found driving for the purposes of an Oregon DUII.  In this second installment we ask, “What does it mean to be Under the Influence?

First, some housekeeping:  Under the Influence implies you must be under the influence of something—in this case, Intoxicants.  For greater depth on “intoxicants” see part 3. Generally speaking, to be under the influence of intoxicants can be thought of as alcohol, a controlled substance, or an inhalant.  For purposes of this article we will stick to the most common intoxicant, to whit, alcohol.

DUII Driving

In Oregon, the “D” in the acronym DUII, stands for driving.  More specifically, driving a vehicle.   Surprising, isn’t it?  It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist, or a criminal defense lawyer to tell you what most people already know: You have to be driving something to get a DUII.  But what does “driving” mean, legally speaking?

Many people think so long as the car isn’t actually running they can’t be arrested for DUI.  Once a client told me he should have shut the car off and rolled down the hill when he saw the police.  At least then he wouldn’t have been “driving”.  While that may seem like a great idea, a great theory doesn’t always pan out in practice.

The opening sentence of the Oregon DUII statue, ORS 813.010, lays out in pretty simple, if not unhelpful terms: ORS 813.010(1) “A person commits the offense of . . . if the person drives a vehicle . . .”  So you’ve got to be driving a vehicle.  Great.  Not only does that not clarify driving, but you’re now left wondering, what is a vehicle?

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