Published on:

Traffic Law in Oregon: No Expungement for Traffic Arrests


Article in the Oregonian, Busts Stick to Innocent Drivers, Feb 24th, by Susan Goldsmith:

“Lance Briggs was a month into his new job at the Oregon Lottery when a sheriff’s deputy stopped him for speeding, then arrested him for allegedly driving under the influence after a sobriety test raised suspicions.

Briggs wasn’t intoxicated, it turned out. He blew zero on a breath test at the Polk County jail, and a urine sample, sent out that night, came back negative for drugs. Officials never filed charges of any kind.

None of those details mattered.

Two weeks later, the lottery summarily fired Briggs. Though he hadn’t been charged with a crime, let alone convicted, agency officials said Briggs was required to notify them about the mere fact of his arrest.

The 22-year-old didn’t consider a mistaken traffic arrest a reportable offense.

‘I’ve been penalized for doing nothing wrong,” laments Briggs, who is now studying at a Christian school in Montana to be a missionary. “I feel like I’m living in a Third World country.’

Briggs had a clean record, but the incident put him afoul of a little-known Oregon law: Once a traffic arrest goes on a driver’s record, it stays there forever — even if there isn’t a subsequent charge or conviction.

By contrast, the law allows people found guilty of burglary, attempted kidnapping and a host of other serious criminal offenses to wipe their records clean — a process called expungement — if they meet certain conditions….
“(Read full story, here.)

Contact Information