Driving Under The Influence of Controlled Substances (aka “Driving Under The Influence of Drugs”) is unlawful in Oregon if the controlled substances adversely affect the driver to a noticeable or perceptible degree. This includes any mental or physical impairment. A driver who is buzzed, high, baked, stoned, blazed, faded, fried, wasted, or even just sleepy or drowsy while using controlled substances could be charged with a crime.
Every state in the United States has laws dealing with drug-impaired driving, but unlike the laws for alcohol-impaired driving, the laws that address drug-impaired driving are difficult to enforce and prosecute.
Some states have “zero tolerance” laws that make driving under the influence of drugs with any measurable amount of specified drugs in the body. These laws are best suited for illegal drugs: if it is illegal to possess or use a drug in that state, then it is perhaps reasonable to prohibit driving after the drug has been possessed and used. Sixteen states have zero tolerance laws in effect for one or more drugs.
Other states have “per se” laws which make driving under the influence of drugs illegal with amounts of specified drugs in the body that exceed set limits. Six states have per se laws in effect for one or more drugs.
Oregon is not a “zero tolerance” or “per se” state– meaning you can actually legally operate a vehicle on public highways or premises open to the public with controlled substances (aka “drugs”) in your system, and there is no presumption of guilt based on any specific measurement of drugs or drug metabolites in your system. However, if you are adversely (negatively) affected by the use of the controlled substances, then operating a vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances (aka “drugs”) is unlawful.
You can read more about Oregon’s Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and DUI laws on our Oregon DUII Laws, Penalties, and Consequences page.