No one affirmatively notifies your insurance company of your DUII arrest — unless there was a wreck of some sort. If there was a wreck, you should promptly notify your insurer so they start working to pay whoever got their property damaged or was hurt.
But in non-wreck DUII cases, it is in your financial interest (keeping your premiums low) to not affirmatively notify your insurance company. You have no obligation to do so. On the other hand, you also cannot lie — an affirmative lie could nullify your coverage (fraud). Therefore, my advice in this situation is: don’t change your policy. Don’t buy a new car, don’t add a new driver, don’t establish a new primary residence. Those things would all trigger you having contact with your insurance company. They would then set a new rate for you — based on the new car’s value, or the new driver’s driving record, or the new address (address is used in setting rates because some neighborhoods engender more claims than others / are more dangerous than others). Most rate-setting would include a review of your current driving record. Insurance companies generally use a 3-year look-back policy, so if you can make three years from the arrest without the insurance company finding out about your DUII charge, then you should keep your rates as they are. If you are in a situation where you are asked a direct question by your insurance company about the DUII, you must be honest. That is because their obligation to indemnify (pay for claims) is tempered by your duty of cooperation (honesty).
The above is general advice. You should review your policy terms — maybe you have an insurance policy that requires you to notify your insurer of a DUII arrest. I’ve never seen one. However, I have seen employment and professional policies that either require or strongly suggest you notify your employer or your professional licensing board. For instance, as an attorney I would promptly notify the Oregon State Bar if I was arrested for DUII. With professional licensing boards, it seems to always be better to notify early. If things get sticky, or you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s best to contact an attorney who specializes in this area.
To sum up: if you get a DUII, you don’t have to immediately advertise that fact to your insurance company. If anyone was hurt or if property was damaged, you should open a claim with insurance promptly. And finally, if you occasionally drink and drive (it’s legal, see my blog post here: /uncategorized/not-illegal-to-drink-drive-court-surprised/) you should have policy limits well above the minimum $25,000/$50,000 limits. Hit one Tri-Met or utility box, and you’ll eat that up immediately — and you’ll be personally on the hook for the remainder. There’s not one DUII lawyer I know who is not insured at the $100,000/$300,000 level, often with a $1,000,000 umbrella policy. It is pretty cheap to increase coverage — and much easier than sitting in a debtor’s prison for failure to pay restitution.
Many of my DUII clients have been victimized by the “mugshot” websites or “Busted”-type magazines. Those entities prey on human frailty. Their customers are, in a documented sense, dealing with truly low self-esteem.
On one hand, who cares about the troglodytes who would buy (!) Busted or check out those websites? On the other hand, many employers “Google” someone before offering them a job? Continue reading
For Oregon license reinstatement after a DUII conviction, you must first wait out the suspension period, and then:
(a) file a SR-22 insurance certificate with DMV for 3 years, ORS 806.075; and
(b) install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for 1 year for a first conviction; 2 years for second, ORS 813.602(1); 5 years for third or subsequent, ORS 813.602(2). Continue reading
People in the U.S. with pending DUIIs, or with completed DUII Diversions, convictions or arrests, all may face some barriers with Canada travel. To ensure entry, the best thing to do is to get permission ahead of time. The Canadian Embassy calls this permission a “waiver of exclusion.” The process can take a few weeks Continue reading
Oregon’s DUII Diversion statute provides, as of January 1, 2012: “The court shall require as a condition of a driving while under the influence of intoxicants diversion agreement that an approved ignition interlock device be installed in any vehicle operated by the person during the period of the agreement when the person has driving privileges.” [https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/813.602]
The ignition interlock device (IID) requirement doesn’t apply to just “motor vehicles.” The phrase is “any vehicle.” That includes the obvious motor vehicles like motorcycles, ski-boats, and jet-skis, but what about bicycles and skateboards? ORS 801.590 (‘”Vehicle” means any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway and includes vehicles that are propelled or powered by any means.’).” At first, you might think there’s a escape valve here: ORS 801.026(6) provides, “Devices that are powered exclusively by human power are not subject to those provisions of the vehicle code that relate to vehicles.” Until you read the next sentence: ”Notwithstanding this subsection, bicycles are generally subject to the vehicle code as provided under ORS 814.400.”
So you don’t need an ignition interlock on a non-motorized skateboard. See, e.g., State v. Smith, 184 Or App 118 (2002) (skateboard not a vehicle for purposes of Oregon Vehicle Code). You technically need an IID for your bicycle. But compliance is impossible, since bicycles sans motor are also sans ignition. In this situation, we’re left with the hope that impossibility is still a defense in the law. Cf. State v. Chilson, 219 Or App 136 (2008).
Remember, the IID requirement applies off-road too, even on private land — it’s for “any vehicle.” Riding your motorcycle in the dunes? Driving a forklift in a private warehouse for work? Both would violate the terms of your Diversion contract — if you do those things “during the period of the agreement when the person has driving privileges.” So if you ride your dirt bike in the dunes while your license is suspended (coincidentally — that’s Driving While Suspended (DWS) because the dunes are premises open to the public), you haven’t violated your Diversion agreement. If you reinstate your license and do the same, you have violated the terms of your Diversion agreement. Same goes for the forklift operator in the private warehouse.
Now, to make it more complicated: as of January 1, 2014, House Bill 2116 will amend ORS 813.602 to grant two exemptions from the IID requirement: (1) medical inability; and (2) employer-owned vehicles. For a medical exemption, the driver must prove to the court the elements of the medical exemption. For employer-owned vehicles, the driver must notify her employer that “the employee has driving privileges and is otherwise required to install an [IID] as a condition of a [DUII] diversion agreement” and must carry the notification and the reinstated license with her while driving.