Idaho's DUI Laws and Penalties for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Conviction

Learn what constitutes a DUI in Idaho and what penalties it may carry.

In Idaho, the penalties you'll face for a DUI depend on a number of factors, including how many prior convictions you have. This article explains Idaho's DUI laws and the consequences of a first, second, and felony DUI conviction.

Idaho's DUI Law

Idaho prohibits anyone from driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while:

The BAC threshold is reduced to .04% if the licensee is driving a commercial vehicle and .02% for drivers who are under 21 years old.

Commercial drivers may face more severe penalties than those listed below, while the penalties for an underage DUI (with a BAC of at least .02% but less than .08%) are generally less serious than those for a regular DUI.

Penalties for a 1st DUI Conviction in Idaho

A first DUI within 10 years is a misdemeanor and generally carries:

  • up to six months in jail (10 days to one year with a BAC of at least .20%)
  • up to $1,000 in fines (up to $2,000 with a BAC of at least .20%)
  • license suspension of 90 to 210 days (one year with a BAC of at least .20%), and
  • a one-year ignition interlock device (IID) requirement.

Although an excessive BAC (.20% or more) DUI carries enhanced penalties, for a first offense, it's still a misdemeanor.

Penalties for a 2nd DUI Conviction in Idaho

A second DUI within 10 years is a misdemeanor and generally carries:

  • two days to one year in jail
  • up to $2,000 in fines
  • license suspension of at least one year days, and
  • at least a one-year IID requirement.

However, if the driver had a BAC of at least .20% and had a prior within the past five years, which also involved a BAC of .20% or more, a second offense is a felony. (The penalties for felony DUI convictions are discussed below.)

Penalties for a Felony DUI Conviction in Idaho

A number of different circumstances can elevate a DUI to a felony in Idaho. These circumstances include:

  • having at least two prior DUI convictions within the last ten years
  • having a prior felony DUI conviction and at least two DUI convictions within the last 15 years
  • having a BAC of at least .20% with a prior DUI involving a BAC of at least .20% within the last five years, and
  • causing great bodily harm or disfigurement to another person.

Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence can also lead to felony vehicular manslaughter charges.

Once an offender is convicted of a felony DUI, all future DUI convictions within 15 years will be considered felonies.

General Felony DUI Penalties in Idaho

A felony DUI will generally carry a maximum of five to fifteen years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. For a felony DUI, the driver's license will be suspended for one to five years after release from jail.

Third-Offense Felony DUI in Idaho

An impaired driver can be charged with a felony DUI if he or she has two prior DUI convictions within the last ten years. Prior DUIs include diversions and out-of-state convictions. The maximum sentence for this type of felony DUI is ten years in prison and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.

Second-Offense Excessive BAC DUI in Idaho

And a second .20% BAC DUI within five years will be a felony. The offender will face up to five years in prison along with the standard fine of up to $5,000 and a one-to-five-year license suspension.

Aggravated Idaho Felony DUI

Finally, a DUI can be charged as a felony if someone suffered great bodily harm or disfigurement. Termed an "aggravated DUI," the offense carries the same penalties as a standard felony DUI, except the maximum prison time is 15 years.

Felony Charges for Fatal DUIs

A DUI violation that contributes to the death of another can be charged as vehicular manslaughter. Vehicular manslaughter is a felony and can be charged alongside a DUI with separate penalties. The penalties include up to $15,000 in fines (and up to $5,000 in civil fines) and a maximum of 15 years in prison. The court may also restrict, suspend, or revoke the driver's license for as long as it deems appropriate.

Getting a Restricted License Following an Idaho DUI Suspension

First-time offenders may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days of suspension. This license requires an IID and is generally limited to health and work-related travel. Subsequent offenders may also petition the court for a restricted license after 45 days, but must also show active good standing with a state substance abuse program.

Substance Abuse Evaluations for Idaho DUI Offenders

Anyone convicted of a DUI in Idaho must undergo an evaluation to determine what type of treatment, educational classes, or other programs might be necessary to address the driver's possible substance abuse issues. The evaluation will be considered by the court and the convicted driver must complete all court-ordered treatments.

Implied Consent and Refusing a Blood or Breath Test in Idaho

Idaho's "implied consent" laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a blood, urine, or breath test. Drivers who unlawfully refuse testing face a $250 fine, license suspension of one or two years, and an IID requirement of one year. Additionally, refusal of a requested chemical test may be used against the accused at trial as evidence of culpability.

Licensees suspended due to refusal may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days of suspension.

Talk to an Idaho DUI Lawyer

A DUI conviction can lead to serious consequences. However, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to avoid jail, reduce suspension periods, or plead to a lesser "wet reckless" charge. If you are charged with a DUI, it is best to consult with an expert DUI to understand your options.

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