In Idaho, a first-time conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) is generally a misdemeanor. Convicted motorists face a fine, license suspension, and possible jail time. However, the circumstances surrounding the DUI can greatly affect the outcome. The following are possible outcomes and penalties resulting from a first-offense DUI in Idaho.
A DUI is considered a first offense in Idaho if the driver has no prior DUI convictions that occurred within the past ten years. Statutes outline the parameters of the penalties, but it's up to the judge to decide on the appropriate sentence within those parameters.
Jail time. Generally, a first-offense DUI can lead to a maximum of six months in jail, with no mandatory minimum. However, drivers who had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20% or greater face ten days to one year in jail.
Fines. A person who's convicted of a first DUI may be required to pay a fine of up to $1,000. If the driver's BAC was .20% or greater, the maximum fine increases to $2,000. (Read more about the actual costs of a first DUI.)
Treatment. All persons convicted of driving under the influence must also obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation. Depending on the results and recommendations of the evaluation, the judge may order treatment, classes, or some other requirement related to addressing substance abuse issues.
Generally, a first-time DUI will result in a 30-day license suspension in Idaho. After the initial 30-day suspension, the court will review the case and order an additional 60 to 180-day suspension. However, the judge generally may grant the use of a restricted license after the initial 30 days, limiting travel for work or health reasons. But for drivers with a BAC of .20% or greater, the suspension period is one year and a restricted license isn't an option.
Pursuant to Idaho's implied consent laws, all persons who drive in the state are deemed to have consented to BAC testing. Drivers who unlawfully refuse testing will be subject to certain penalties. For a first refusal, there's a one-year suspension. The driver may request a restricted license after completing 45 days of the suspension.
After the suspension period, the driver will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) for one year.
If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Idaho, it's a good idea to talk to a DUI lawyer. DUI law is complicated and the facts of each case are different. A qualified DUI attorney can tell you how the law applies to your case and help you decide on the best course of action.