If you have recently moved to Oregon and are new to the Portland area, let us be the first to extend a warm welcome. US News and World Reports rank Portland among the top ten places to live, with vibrant neighborhoods, a robust local economy, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities available.

The Johnston Law Firm is proud to call Portland our home. As active residents in the community, we enjoy taking advantage of all the city offers. Check out our list of five things newcomers need to know about living in the area and some of the unique laws that apply.

Portland is pedestrian and bike-friendly

Portland is one of the most pedestrian-friendly places in the country and local residents often rely on either walking or bicycling to get around. Grab a free bike and walk map through the Portland Bureau of Transportation to make navigating your new home easier and familiarize yourself with local laws.

When walking, protect yourself and avoid a jaywalking ticket by crossing only at designated intersections. For bicyclists, ride in the direction of traffic, use hand signals when making stops or turns, and if under 16, wear a helmet.

Pay attention to traffic

According to Portland State University, roughly 25,000 people relocate here each year. This increases traffic and car accident risks.

Whether driving locally or visiting nearby attractions, such as Mount Hood or the Willamette Valley, pay attention. Oregon distracted driving laws prohibit the use of handheld devices. As a primary offense, you can be pulled over for distracted driving despite obeying all other traffic laws.

Marijuana is legal

Marijuana use in Portland is legal both for medical and recreational purposes. However, you can be ticketed for using it in public and subject to arrest for possessing more than an ounce on your person in public, more than eight ounces in your home, or being under the influence of it while behind the wheel.

Be sober behind the wheel

The Portland area is brimming with local bars and taverns where you can enjoy a night out but avoid getting behind the wheel if you have had even one or two drinks. The state takes a tough stance on DUI. Under the Oregon Statutes, penalties include heavy fines, mandatory driver’s license suspension, and a potential jail sentence.

Portland has curfews

If you have children, be mindful of curfews. The Portland Police Bureau advises that for children under 14, the curfew is 9:15 p.m. on school nights and 10:15 p.m. on weekends. For those between 14 and 17, school night curfews are extended for an hour and the curfew for weekends is midnight.

Enjoy Your New Home!

We wish you the best in your new home. And if you have any more questions about the laws in the area, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Portland personal attorney online for help.