Although Oregon legalized the recreational use of cannabis in 2015 you can receive a Cannabis DUI in Oregon. Read on to find out more how Oregon law enforcement is combating getting high and driving.

Science of Cannabis DUI Detection

If you use cannabis within weeks of driving you can be a target for law enforcement. to investigate Cannabis DUI in Oregon. The reason is that unlike alcohol there is no set legal amount of THC in the blood or urine of a driver to presume impairment. THC is typically measured in nanograms per milliliter. Detectable levels can remain in urine for weeks following marijuana use. The presence of marijuana metabolites with a officer’s suspicion of recent marijuana use could lead to arrest and criminal charges.

Drug Recognition Experts

Oregon has trained many traffic officers to be drug recognition experts to aid in detecting a cannabis DUI. The following are among the observations they will look for:

  • Red eyes
  • cannabis odors
  • body tremors
  • eyelid tremors
  • impaired perception of time and distance
  • disorientation
  • paranoia
  • relaxed inhibitions

If a DRE examination is requested by an officer the evaluator would expect to see some or all of the following indicators of cannabis use:

No Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) (an involuntary jerking of the eye balls when tracking an object moving horizontally in front of the eyes),
No Vertical Gaze Nystagmus (VGN) (an involuntary jerking of the eye balls when tracking an object moving vertically in front of the eyes),
Lack of convergence (an inability to cross the eyes),
“Normal” pupil size or dilated (larger than normal) pupil size,
“Normal” reaction of the pupils to light (the pupils become larger in darkness, then quickly become smaller when exposed to light),
Pulse rate elevated (higher than normal pulse rate),
Blood pressure elevated  (higher than normal blood pressure), and
Elevated body temperature (higher than normal body temperature).

Arrested For Oregon Cannabis DUI Penalties

The mere presence of cannabis metabolites in your urine, in conjunction with an officer’s reasonable suspicion of recent use, is enough to result in criminal charges. According to the Oregon DUI laws, a person’s right to drive in Oregon can be suspended if they are arrested for a DUII or they refuse to chemical test of their breath, blood, or urine. The length of the suspension depends upon whether the test was failed or refused and whether or not there was a previous DUII conviction or diversion within the previous five years.

Some people can apply for a “Hardship” license that will allow them to operate a motor vehicle to get to and from work and regular medical appointments ONLY, but even then, there is a waiting period before it is granted. Suspension penalties are as follows:

  • Test refusal – one-year suspension, 90 day waiting period for hardship
  • With previous DUI event –Test refusal – three-year suspension, three-year waiting period
  • Test failure – 90 day suspension, 30 day waiting period
  • With previous DUI event Test failure – one-year suspension, one-year waiting period
  • Urine test refusal – one-year suspension, 180 days waiting period
  • With previous DUII event Urine test refusal  – three-year suspension, two-year waiting period

Convicted of Cannabis DUI Penalties

First conviction
  •  one-year suspension, no waiting for hardship license with a judge’s signature
  • Probation – 18 to 36 months
  • Jail time – 2 to 10 days
  • Fine – $1000-$2000
Second conviction
  • within five years – three-year suspension, 90 day waiting period –IF you complete a 180-day treatment program
  • Probation – 24 to 36 months
  • Jail time – 8 to more than 30 days
  • Fine – $1500-$3500
Third or greater conviction with no more than one conviction within the past 10 years AND no felony DUII convictions
  • Lifetime Revocation of driving privileges, not eligible for a hardship. Can apply for reinstatement after a 10-year waiting period.
  • Probation – more than 36 months
  • Jail time – 30 to 180 days
  • Fine – $2000-$4000
Third or greater conviction with two or more prior convictions within the past 10 years or a prior felony DUII conviction
  • Felony conviction
  • Probation – 36 to 60 months
  • Jail time – at least 90 days, possible prison time
  • Fine – $2000-$4000

Additional Requirements After A Cannabis DUI