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Chemical Test for DUI in Oregon

A police officer may obtain a chemical test of a person’s blood, urine, or both if the person either expressly consents to such a test or the officer has probable cause to believe the person was driving under the influence of intoxicants and the person is unconscious or otherwise incapable of consenting to the test. A person may request, at their own expense, to have a licensed surgeon, professional nurse, or qualified technician of the person’s own choosing perform a breath or blood test. The failure to have such an additional test done does not mean the tests conducted by an officer are not admissible as evidence. The tests conducted by an officer are still admissible. A chemical analysis of a person’s blood is valid if it is done by a laboratory that is licensed and approved for toxicology testing.

A breath test must be performed by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Department of State Police and must be performed using methods approved by the Department of State Police. Police officers in Oregon receive permits after they complete a training course and a written examination. For a blood test, only a duly licensed physician or a person acting under the control of a duly licensed physician may withdraw blood or pierce human tissue. An individual who performs a breath or blood test must prepare and sign a written report of the findings of the test that must include the officer who requested the test. Any person who is tested may request a copy of the report.

If a chemical analysis of a person’s breath or blood at the time of arrest showed a blood alcohol level of less than .08 percent, it is indirect evidence that may be used with other evidence to determine whether the person was under the influence of intoxicants. Evidence of a test that showed a person’s blood alcohol level was higher than the legal limit is admissible as evidence as well. If a person refuses to consent to chemical tests, evidence of the person’s refusal is admissible in any civil or criminal action that relates to a DUII charge. Evidence that is obtained through a search warrant is admissible in a DUII case. Also, evidence resulting from blood tests on a defendant that receives medical care is admissible, whether the defendant consented to the blood testing or not.

A party in a DUII case may use a copy of the administrative rules of the Department of State Police addressing methods of chemical breath tests as evidence. Additionally, a defendant in a DUII case may bring evidence to show that the arresting officer did not have a valid permit to perform breath analysis. In a prosecution for felony driving while under the influence of intoxicants, the state shall plead the prior convictions and prove them unless the defendant decides not to challenge the prior convictions.

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