2015 ORS 811.180¹
Affirmative defenses

The following establishes affirmative defenses in prosecutions for driving while suspended or revoked in violation of ORS 811.175 (Violation driving while suspended or revoked) or 811.182 (Criminal driving while suspended or revoked) and describes when the affirmative defenses are not available:

(1) In addition to other defenses provided by law, including but not limited to ORS 161.200 (Choice of evils), it is an affirmative defense to the offenses described in ORS 811.175 (Violation driving while suspended or revoked) and 811.182 (Criminal driving while suspended or revoked) that:

(a) An injury or immediate threat of injury to a human being or animal, and the urgency of the circumstances made it necessary for the defendant to drive a motor vehicle at the time and place in question; or

(b) The defendant had not received notice of the defendant’s suspension or revocation or been informed of the suspension or revocation by a trial judge who ordered a suspension or revocation of the defendant’s driving privileges or right to apply.

(2) The affirmative defenses described in subsection (1)(b) of this section are not available to a defendant under the circumstances described in this subsection. Any of the evidence specified in this subsection may be offered in the prosecution’s case in chief. This subsection applies if any of the following circumstances exist:

(a) The defendant refused to sign a receipt for the certified mail containing the notice of suspension or revocation.

(b) The notice of suspension or revocation could not be delivered to the defendant because the defendant failed to comply with the requirements under ORS 807.560 (Failure to notify department upon change of address or name) to notify the Department of Transportation of a change of address or residence.

(c) At a previous court appearance, the defendant had been informed by a trial judge that the judge was ordering a suspension or revocation of the defendant’s driving privileges or right to apply.

(d) The defendant had actual knowledge of the suspension or revocation by any means prior to the time the defendant was stopped on the current charge.

(e) The defendant was provided with notice of intent to suspend under ORS 813.100 (Implied consent to breath or blood test). [1983 c.338 §599; 1985 c.16 §305; 1985 c.672 §18; 1985 c.744 §1; 1987 c.138 §2; 1987 c.158 §168; 1987 c.730 §20; 1987 c.801 §10; 1997 c.249 §229]

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

Affirmative de­fense of failure to receive notice of suspension is not es­tab­lished by law by fact that envelope in which notice was transmitted was stamped "unclaimed." State v. DeMello, 74 Or App 503, 703 P2d 276 (1985), aff'd 300 Or 590, 716 P2d 732 (1986)

In General

Defendant is not barred by this sec­tion from asserting lack of notice de­fense where failure to deliver notice of suspension of his driver license was not caused by defendant's failure to notify MVD of his change of address within 30 days. State v. Sickles, 85 Or App 353, 736 P2d 223 (1987)

Evidence of "unclaimed" nota­tion on suspension notice and defendant's testimony that she neither received notice nor had actual knowledge of suspension was not sufficient to meet burden of proof of de­fense of lack of notice in pros­e­cu­­tion for driving while suspended. State v. Click, 87 Or App 272, 742 P2d 67 (1987), aff'd 305 Or 611, 755 P2d 693 (1988)

Showing that post office failed to deliver notice of driver license suspension by certified letter is part of defendant's burden in es­tab­lishing non-notice of suspension. State v. Click, 305 Or 611, 755 P2d 693 (1988)

Affirmative de­fense to crim­i­nal charge may be withdrawn from jury's considera­tion only if there is no evidence in record to support ele­ment of de­fense. State v. Brown, 306 Or 599, 761 P2d 1300 (1988)

To es­tab­lish af­firm­a­tive de­fense of injury or threat of injury, defendant need only es­tab­lish, first, that he believed there was injury or threat thereof and believed that circumstances were urgent, and, sec­ond, that in­for­ma­­tion available to him would cause reasonable per­son so to believe. State v. Brown, 306 Or 599, 761 P2d 1300 (1988)

Affirmative de­fense under this sec­tion that defendant had not received notice of suspension was not available to defendant who failed to notify MVD of his new address as re­quired by ORS 807.560 (Failure to notify department upon change of address or name) where defendant was driving in Oregon and continued to hold his Oregon driver license after moving. State v. Hayes, 99 Or App 387, 782 P2d 177 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Chapter 811

See also annota­tions under ORS chapter 483 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Under Former Similar Statute

A party in viola­tion of a motor vehicle statute is neg­li­gent as a matter of law unless he introduces evidence from which the trier of fact could find that he was acting as a reasonably prudent per­son under the circumstances. Barnum v. Williams, 264 Or 71, 504 P2d 122 (1972)

Law Review Cita­tions

Under Former Similar Statute

10 WLJ 207 (1974)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 811—Rules of the Road for Drivers, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors811.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 811, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano811.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.