Driving “under the influence” is a crime in Idaho, as described in Section 18-8004 of the Idaho Statutes. The law applies to anyone who has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher – or who has otherwise used intoxicating substances. These individuals must not “be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle” within Idaho, even if on private property that is open to the public.
Possible penalties for this crime can be substantial, especially since it is considered a repeat offense. A criminal defense law firm can help you protect your rights and freedoms.
Second misdemeanor DUI sentencing
One thing that is important related to DUI convictions and penalties is the period of time between them.
If there is more than 10 years between a first and second misdemeanor DUI, the second occurrence of a standard DUI is a misdemeanor (see Idaho Statutes Section 18-8005) with the same sentencing parameters as an initial conviction:
- Jail time up to 6 months
- Fine up to $1000
- License suspension 90-180 days, with mandatory-minimum 30 days.
If the second conviction is within that 10-year window, though, the sentencing is harsher:
- Jail time up to 1 year, with mandatory-minimum 5 days
- Fine up to $2000
- License suspension 1 year.
While this crime is not categorized as a felony, it can mean you lose your freedom and that your life is terribly altered. You could end up in jail and then unable to drive after you are released. Getting strong legal representation to protect you from the state can be critical in properly defending your civil liberties.
Other ramifications of a DUI conviction
Driving privileges are suspended, and the driver license must be handed over to the court, in the event of a conviction. A breathalyzer must also be installed on all cars via an ignition interlock system – beyond the one-year license suspension period.
If a second misdemeanor DUI conviction does occur, you may still be able to get approval via a mental health court or drug court to continue driving to school, work, or alcohol treatment programs.
Commercial driving, unfortunately for those with these convictions, is never allowed.
When a second DUI is NOT a misdemeanor
A second DUI is not always a misdemeanor. If you have a second Excessive DUI (BAC 0.20 or above) conviction within 5 years, it is a felony. Aggravated DUI (DUI that significantly injures another person) is also a felony.
Getting the help you need
Driving under the influence in Idaho can be damaging to the public. Anyone accused of this crime can also see their life take a massive turn for the worse. Through a highly experienced and skilled DUI attorney, you can make the case for your full exoneration, or a reduction in the charge or sentence.