Presently, persons in Oregon’s DUI diversion program are required to install an approved ignition interlock device on any vehicle that they are operating during the diversion period under ORS 813.602. This requirement of diversion was passed in 2011. Prior to the 2011 amendment, individuals in diversion were not required to install an ignition interlock device while they were in diversion, however, they were required to install the device if they had been convicted for DUI after their license was reinstated or when operating on a hardship permit. A person convicted of DUI in Oregon is required to install the device but ORS 813.606 provides an exception to the requirement for employer owned vehicles driven for work purposes under certain circumstances. That means that if someone needs to drive for work, their employer is not required to install the device on work vehicles. This exception means in many circumstances that persons convicted of DUI are allowed to keep their jobs. However, when the Oregon legislature amended the Diversion law in 2011, they didn’t extend the employer owned vehicle exception to persons required to install an ignition interlock device based on their participation in the DUI diversion program. In an odd quirk of the law then persons convicted of DUI could get an exception to the ignition interlock requirement but persons not convicted of DUI who are participating in Diversion could not. Oregon House Bill 2116 fixes this anomaly.
Oregon HB 2116 amends ORS 813.602 to create two exceptions to the ignition interlock requirement in Oregon for persons in the DUI Diversion program. First, it creates a medical exception for persons who are unable to operate an ignition interlock device based on a medical condition. Second, it creates an employer owned vehicle exception to persons participating in Diversion. If you have been charged with a DUI in Oregon or are participating in a DUI Diversion program, you should consult an attorney to see how this law may or may not impact you.