Transportation is not just a convenience, it is an absolute necessity. When facing drunk driving charges in Oregon, it is only natural to worry about the potential impact on your ability to go about your day-to-day travel, like commuting to and from work. Although it is not always easy, obtaining a hardship permit is one option for getting back to your normal routine following a drunk driving conviction.
If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants under Oregon law, your driving privileges will be suspended. Your Oregon Driver License may also be suspended under the state's Implied Consent Law if you fail a chemical test for alcohol (by registering a blood alcohol reading of 0.08 or higher after driving) or if you refuse a chemical test. Your license may be suspended for the same offense under either the Implied Consent Law, the DUII law or both.
To qualify for a hardship permit, you must first pass the waiting period; there is no waiting period following a first-time DUII conviction, but if your license has been suspended under Oregon's Implied Consent law, you must wait 30 days from the beginning of the suspension to apply for a hardship permit.
If convicted of DUII, you will need to obtain a recommendation from the convicting judge in order to get a hardship permit; this means making convincing arguments that the issuance of the hardship permit is in the best interests of the public as well as yourself. You will also have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle (a computerized breath analyzer that prevents you from starting your vehicle if the alcohol in your body measures above a preset limit). Required fees, application forms and employment verifications round out the minimum requirements to obtain a hardship permit after a first DUII conviction.
While neither a judicial recommendation nor an ignition interlock is required for a hardship permit if your license was suspended under the Implied Consent law, the other requirements mentioned above must still be met.
A hardship permit specifies exactly when and where you may drive, and driving outside of the restrictions can have serious consequences. Generally, a hardship permit can reinstate driving privileges for the purpose of traveling to and from work, to drive on the job (you may not, however, operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle on a hardship permit), to seek employment, to take part in alcohol or drug rehabilitation or to get to regular required medical treatment.
A hardship permit is not the answer to all problems that may stem from your drunk driving arrest - but it can be a powerful tool to help get your life back on track. Contact an Oregon drunk driving attorney today for help getting a hardship permit, and to address other areas of concern in your drunk driving case.
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