DUI/DWI Laws in Idaho: What You Need to Know

Drugs & Alcohol

DUI/DWI Laws in Idaho: What You Need to Know

“If you are going to drink, be responsible. Make sure if you are going to go drinking, have a designated driver – that’s the biggest thing. Use taxicabs, don’t get behind the wheel, because we WILL have people out there that will be looking.”

~ Nez Perce County Chief Deputy Scott Gleason, talking about Idaho’s Impaired Driver Mobilization

According to an April 2016 article in the USA Today, Idaho ranked #3 in the country for “Most Dangerous States for Drunken Driving” in 2015. 28.5% of all traffic deaths in Idaho are due to drunk driving, costing taxpayers $278 million.

Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs in the State of Idaho is a serious crime and may result in significant civil and criminal charges that could possibly impact the rest of your life. In 2015, there were 11,850 DUI arrests in a state with only a little more than a million and a half residents.

To give that figure a little perspective, Kentucky’s population is over two-and-a-half times that of Idaho’s, but it had less than one-fifth the number of DUI arrests in 2015.

BAC Levels for DUI Charges in Idaho

In the State of Idaho, you will be arrested and charged for Driving Under the Influence if:

  • You are under 21 years of age and your BAC is .02% or more.
  • You are operating a commercial vehicle and your BAC is .04% or more
  • You are of legal age to drink and your BAC is .08% or more
  • You are under the influence of some other intoxicating substance, such as illicit or prescription drugs

What are the DUI Penalties in the State of Idaho

In the State of Idaho, you can face both criminal and civil penalties for driving while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Criminally, the Court can impose fines and can put you in jail. Civilly, the Department of Transportation can suspend your license and impose other penalties.

  • First Offense DUI
    • Up to a $1000 fine
    • Up to six months in jail
    • Mandatory driver’s license suspension for at least 90 days, up to 180 days
    • No “restricted license” for the first 30 days
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee – $25-$285
    • Must provide a Statement of Financial Responsibility(SR-22) for three years
  • Second Offense DUI
    • Mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days, up to one year
    • Up to a $2000 fine
    • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
    • Mandatory driver’s license suspension for one year
    • If this is the second offense within five years, NO “restricted license” will be granted
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee – $25-$285
    • Must provide a Statement of Financial Responsibility (SR-22) for three years
  • Third Offense (or more) DUI –
    • This is a FELONY conviction if the two previous convictions were within the last 10 years.
    • Up to a $5000 fine
    • Mandatory jail time of at least 30 days, up to five years
    • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
    • Mandatory Driver’s License suspension of at least one year, up to five years
    • Driver’s license reinstatement fee – $25-$285
    • Must provide a Statement of Financial Responsibility (SR-22) for three years
  • If You Refuse a BAC Test–
    • Mandatory order of suspension of driving privileges for one year.
    • To dispute the suspension, you must submit a request in writing a hearing within 7 days.
    • If the ruling is not in your favor, you pay a $250 fine and the suspension is upheld.
    • A second refusal results in another $250 fine and a driver’s license suspension for two years.
  • If You Are under 21 Years of Age –
    • $1000 fine
    • Driver’s license suspension of one year.
    • For the first 90 days, no “restricted license”
    • Minors under the age of 18 will lose their license until they turn 21

Are There Any Other Costs for Getting a DUI in Idaho?

Getting a DUI will cost you much more than just fines and administrative reinstatement fees. By the time the process is complete, you will have paid:

  • Court costs and bail – $175
  • Attorney’s fees–First-time offenders pleading guilty – $500-$2500, repeat offenders pleading guilty – $1000-$5000, DUI cases that go to trial $2500-$25,000
  • Alcohol evaluation –$100
  • Alcohol education program– up to $2000.
  • Ignition interlock device– up to $1300
  • Insurance rates can rise up to 81%, or about $53 per month.

That means that a first-time offender who avoids trial and pleads guilty could still end up paying over $7500 for a DUI conviction.

The cost and consequences of impaired or drunk driving in Idaho can rise prohibitively if there are any other charges arising from an incident – possession of illicit drugs or paraphernalia, an accident, or even vehicular manslaughter.

Finally, a DUI arrest and/or conviction can affect other areas of your life. An underage college student who gets caught driving drunk in Idaho could lose a scholarship, for example. A person applying for a job in a position of trust could be denied a security clearance, in another instance.

Substance Abuse Disorders and DUIs

At its core, drunken or drugged driving in the State of Idaho – with or without an arrest or conviction – often indicates a much larger problem – the impaired judgment that often accompanies an ongoing substance abuse disorder.

A person with an active addiction to alcohol or drugs often exhibits poor decision-making skills and will engage in risky behavior with no regard for any negative or dangerous consequences – either to themselves or others.

Beyond mere poor judgment, when a person is arrested and convicted of multiple Driving Under the Influence offenses, it could be that their use of alcohol has gone beyond their control.

A loss of control (multiple DUIs) and an unmanageable life (the consequences of those DUIs) are two defining characteristics of addiction.

If you or someone you care about has a drinking or drug problem that is starting to negatively affect other areas of their life, contact Ashwood Recovery today – the #1 outpatient addiction treatment program in Boise, Idaho.

Through the use of a multi-layered treatment strategy that involves individual assessment, education, personal/group/family counseling, and ongoing support, Ashwood Recovery can help restore sobriety and control to your life.

August 22nd, 2016|Comments Off on DUI/DWI Laws in Idaho: What You Need to Know
Call Now Button