EPD Clarifies “No Refusal” DUII Policy

duii-patrolEUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Police Department is gearing up for its “no refusal” patrol on the Fourth of July.

Here’s how it will work.

If you’re stopped for a traffic violation or crash and show signs of impairment, you’ll be asked to take a field sobriety test.

If you are then arrested, and brought to the station, you will be asked to provide a breath sample.

If you refuse, officers on scene will request a warrant from a judge, and then a blood draw can be taken at EPD headquarters.

The draw will be taken by a medical professional.

EPD says the blood draw offers more evidence in court.

“We want to have the best possible case to present to a jury or the judicial system to show that the person was in fact impaired or guilty of whatever the potential crime is that they were arrested for, so we don’t just stop at probable cause. We want to take it a step further and make sure we have all the best evidence we have available to us,” said Officer Ryan Stone, Eugene Police Department.

There are no checkpoints because those aren’t legal in Oregon. But remember, police say if you have an Oregon license you’ve already consented to having a breath sample taken.

EPD¬†has received many questions from the public regarding this year’s “no refusal” DUII enforcement for the Fourth of July.

It sent the media more information Wednesday to clarify misconceptions.

Here is the full statement:

“No Refusal”
July 4, DUII Enforcement
Further details and clarifications

To combat the deadly problem of impaired driving, the Eugene Police Department, along with Oregon State Police and Springfield Police Department will be out in force on July 4, conducting a DUII enforcement.

Every day of the year, police officers seek out impaired drivers in an effort to prevent crashes and the needless fatalities, injuries, and property damage that result. One of the tools available to police officers conducting any criminal investigation is the search warrant. In the case of impaired driving, search warrants are entirely separate from the Implied Consent process which sanctions drivers for refusing to provide a non-intrusive breath sample following a lawful arrest for DUII. The “No Refusal” process is just a slight modification to existing (and already used) protocol.

In order for blood to even become part of the investigation, a driver will have already:

1) been stopped for a traffic infraction or involved in crash
2) shown signs of impairment
3) further demonstrated impairment via Field Sobriety Tests and then
4) been lawfully arrested and provided an opportunity to provide a breath sample after hearing the Implied Consent Rights and Consequences.

Then, and only then, if the driver refuses a breath test, does the search warrant process begin. It requires the officer to articulate probable cause which would be reviewed by a prosecutor and a judge. A blood draw would only be conducted if authorized by a judge who has reviewed the particular circumstances of that particular case. The draw would be conducted by trained medical personnel, not a police officer.

To clarify some common misconceptions:

1) There will not be any checkpoints involved. Checkpoints are not legal in Oregon, and their effectiveness in combating impaired driving is limited. There will instead be extra officers out looking for signs of impaired driving, and stops will be made on a basis of probable cause.
2) Drivers stopped during the operation will only be asked to submit to a breath test if they are arrested for DUII. To be clear, there will be no demands for roadside breath tests from any driver, much less from every driver.
3) Search warrants are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by both the on-site prosecutor and the judge.
4) EPD’s efforts to inform the public about this event are meant to educate drivers about the dangers of impaired driving, and that law enforcement takes seriously their responsibility to protect the lives and property of travelers on our roadways. Our ultimate goal is to deter all instances of impaired driving first, and to successfully prosecute those who elect to make the dangerous decision to drive under the influence second. Simply put, our goal is to reduce crashes, not increase arrests.

The enforcement is similar to other saturation patrols like Cinco de Mayo, but this is the first time that EPD has conducted a “No Refusal,” enforcement.

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