The drinking age in Idaho is 21 and consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 with no exceptions. Idaho has witnessed a 20% drop in fatalities attributable to underage DUIs over the past 10 years. Underage DUIs still account for about 14% of DUI deaths. Because underage drinkers cause a disproportionate number of alcohol-related auto fatalities, the standards are stricter and the penalties may be harsher for those under 21. To learn more, see Idaho’s teen driving requirements.
What constitutes driving under the influence?
If a chemical test determines that a driver under 21 has a BAC of .02% or higher, the driver can be cited for driving under the influence. (For those 21 or older, the BAC is .08%)
What are the penalties?
If First Drunk Driving Conviction: imprisonment (up to 6 months), fine (up to $1,000), license suspension (one year, and the first 90 days must be absolute --no driving privileges at all.) (More information: First Offense DUI in Idaho).
If Second Drunk Driving Conviction within 5 Years: imprisonment (if BAC is between .02% to .05%, 5 to 30 days in jail. If BAC above .08%, 10 days to 1 year in jail.) fine ($500 up to $2,000) license suspension (1 to 2 years). (More Information: Second Offense DUI in Idaho.)
What if you refuse the chemical test? Read about Idaho implied consent laws.
What other charges?
In addition to driving under the influence, an underage drinker may be charged with any of the following:
- distributing alcohol to other minors (were there underage drunk passengers?),
- minor in possession,
- soliciting alcohol,
- child endangerment law violations,
- possession of false identification (was a fake id used to purchase alcohol?), and
- moving and vehicle maintenance violations (what else did the arresting officer see?).
What happens to insurance?
Some insurance companies may terminate a policy after an underage DUI (while others refuse to renew). Most companies simply raise the cost of the monthly premium by $100 to $200 (sometimes higher) for a higher risk policy. The raise usually stays in place for three to five years. You’ll also probably need to furnish the DMV with an SR-22 certificate to reinstate a license after suspension (as proof of insurability). Most insurance companies furnish this form to the DMV. Check with your insurer to see if it performs this service.