Written by attorney Richard E Oberdorfer

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Medical Exemption for Oregon DUII Diversion

House Bill 2116, effective January 1, 2014, allows a DUII Diversion participant to avoid installing an IID for medical purposes, “if the court determines that the person meets the requirements for a medical exemption in accordance with rules adopted by [DMV] under this section." Although DMV has not, at the time of this writing, published those rules, there’s a good bet they’ll be similar to the rules already in place for DMV making exceptions to IID requirements, at OAR 735-070-0080:

“(3) A person may operate a vehicle(s) without an IID, if the person is medically unable to operate a vehicle equipped with an IID, and DMV grants a medical exemption from the IID requirement. To avoid suspension of driving privileges for failure to install an IID, the person must apply before the last day of the DUII suspension and submit to DMV:

(a) A written, signed statement from an IID provider that the provider is unable to adapt an IID to accommodate usage by the person because of the person’s medical condition; and

(b) A written, signed statement from the person’s medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, naturopathic doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner containing the following information:

(A) The name of the exempting condition;

(B) Whether the condition is temporary or permanent and if temporary, when the condition will no longer prevent usage of an IID; and

(C) Whether the exemption is required because the condition results in the inability to sustain an exhaled breath sampling of five pounds of pressure for five seconds required to operate the device or results in a ketone level in the person’s breath which will not allow the driver to successfully complete the test.

(4) When the application for a medical exemption is made under section (3) of this rule and approved by DMV, DMV will issue a medical exemption letter. The person must carry a copy of DMV’s medical exemption letter while operating a vehicle that would otherwise require installation and use of an IID."

The difference for DUII Diversion participants will be that the ultimate decision to either grant or deny the IID medical exemption will rest not with DMV, but rather with “the court." This means that if you intend to ask for an IID medical exemption, you should be prepared to prove you meet at least the parameters above at the time of Diversion Entry. This means having all documentary proof with you as noted above at that court date — which happens pretty fast, generally within 30 days of arrest. Talk to your lawyer — and your doctor — to prepare the proof.

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