When conducting a driving under the influence (DUI) investigation, it's common for an officer to ask the driver to take a breath, blood, or urine test. The results of these tests—which show the amount of drugs or alcohol in the driver's system—are used by prosecutors to prove DUI charges at trial.
This article gives an overview of Idaho's implied consent law, including when drivers must agree to take an alcohol or drug test, and the consequences of an unlawful test refusal.
For a DUI arrest to be lawful, the officer must have probable cause to believe that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that an underage driver was operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.
The consequences of a refusal generally depend on how many prior offenses the driver has that occurred within the past ten years. Implied consent suspensions are imposed by the Department of Transportation and are often called "Administrative License Suspensions" or "ALS" for short.
First offense. For a first refusal, the driver is generally facing a $250 civil penalty, a one-year license revocation, and a one-year ignition interlock device (IID) requirement.
Second offense. For a second refusal within ten years, the driver is looking at $250 civil penalties, a two-year license revocation, and a one-year IID requirement.
Drivers who wish to contest their refusal-related suspension can request an administrative hearing. The driver must make this request within seven days of the arrest. At the hearing, the driver can contest the legalities of the suspension.
If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in Idaho, you should talk to a qualified DUI lawyer. An experienced DUI attorney can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.