drink and drive

When those of us with an alcohol addiction make decisions while we are drunk, there frequently are unpleasant consequences that haunt us even when we are sober. Take, for instance, the cost that comes with the decision to drive after drinking. In Idaho, getting caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) brings about specific penalties that no one wants to face.

Here are some facts to consider (as presented by the Idaho State Police) before choosing to drink and drive at any time day or night in Idaho:

Don’t Be Fooled: Every Body is Affected by Alcohol Consumption

The absorption of alcohol into your body causes all of your systems to relax, to slow down and impair your judgment and sense of control.  Alcohol also affects:

  •         Vision
  •         How Quickly you react
  •         Level of Coordination
  •         Balance
  •         Mood

The myth that drinking coffee or splashing yourself with a cold shower will help sober you up faster is just that – a myth. The only thing that changes the effects of alcohol on your intoxication level is the passing of time. So once you drink, wait before you drive.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink and Drive

Unfortunately, the impact on your judgment may cause you to believe that you are safe to drive, you’re not really drunk, and there is no reason to worry about you being behind the wheel. When your BAC (blood alcohol content) is even slightly above .05%, your ability to drive well is already diminished. Even having a slight buzz while driving can put you and others on the road at risk.

Signs that tips off law enforcement to an intoxicated driver include:

  •         Reckless speeding (or just as bad, excessively slow driving)
  •         Erratic driving (including weaving)
  •         Jerking your car due to pulling fast on the wheel or hitting the gas too hard
  •         Abrupt movements that show a lack of depth perception

What is Considered DUI/DWI in Idaho?

Driving Under the Influence in the State of Idaho occurs when:

  •         You’re younger than 21 with a BAC of .02% or higher
  •         You’re older than 21 with a BAC of .08% or higher
  •         You’re driving with a BAC of .04% or higher
  •         DUI also refers to driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol

What are the Penalties for DUI/DWI

Drivers charged with DUI can face criminal action as well as civil penalties (including license suspension).

For a first offense with a DUI, penalties are:

  •         License suspended at least 90 days (mandatory) & possibly up to 180 days
  •         Minimum fee to reinstate between 25 and 285 dollars
  •         3 years of Financial Responsibility
  •         Jail for 6 months
  •         Up to $1000 fine

For a second DUI offense within a 10 year period, penalties are:

  •         License suspended at least 1 year (mandatory)
  •         Minimum fee to reinstate between 25 and 285 dollars
  •         3 years of Financial Responsibility
  •         Mandatory Jail time between 10 days – 1 year
  •         Up to $2000 fine
  •         Ignition Interlock Device (mandatory)

For a third DUI offense within a 10 year period, penalties are:

  •         License suspended at least 1 year (mandatory), possibly 1-5 years
  •         Minimum fee to reinstate between 25 and 285 dollars
  •         3 years of Financial Responsibility
  •         Felony Conviction
  •         Mandatory Jail time between 30 days – 5 years
  •         Up to $5000 fine
  •         Ignition Interlock Device (mandatory)

Do you Have the Right to Refuse a Test

Obviously in the United States, you have the right to choose to ignore the direction of a law enforcement officer.  Be aware however that just because you can refuse a test to determine your level of intoxication doesn’t mean you should.

The consequences for refusing a test in Idaho includes suspension of your license and hundreds of dollars in fees. You may request a hearing to plead your case, but that may end up costing you more in the long run. The smarter move is to simply not drive while under the influence of alcohol.

Under 21 in Idaho and Driving Under the Influence: It’s a Serious Matter

Drivers under 21 who are charged with DUI receive special penalties in an effort to preserve life and make a lasting impact on their decision-making.

  •         1st Offense brings a $1000 court fine, suspension of license for a year and no chance for the 1st 90 days of that suspension for the possibility of a restricted driving license.
  •         Drivers are required to have an alcohol evaluation to determine if there is a deeper problem.
  •         Minors caught under the influence lose their license until their 21st birthday.

How to Reinstate Your License in the State of Idaho

Reinstating your license in Idaho following a charge of DUI includes:

  •         Completion of the reinstatement application (which is Form ITD 3786)
  •         Payment of the license reinstatement fee (between $25-$285)
  •         Proof of financial responsibility

To avoid the expensive and  negative consequences enforced by the State of  Idaho (one of many states that take a zero tolerance stance on DUI), the most responsible choice you can make is to designate a sober driver if you have been drinking.

Resources:

https://www.isp.idaho.gov/isp/citizen/inc/documents/DUI-English.pdf