Like all states, Idaho prohibits "driving under the influence" (DUI), which basically means operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other impairing substance. This includes driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
In Idaho, a DUI is generally a misdemeanor. But there are multiple factors that can elevate an Idaho DUI to a felony. This article outlines the Idaho DUI felonies and the associated penalties.
A felony DUI will generally carry a maximum of five to fifteen years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. However, the judge can grant probation and substantially reduce the amount of jail time. All DUI convictions require a drug and alcohol evaluation and completion of the recommended treatment.
For a felony DUI, the driver's license will be suspended for one to five years after release from jail. A restricted license may be available after 45 days, but the offender must be in good standing in a state-approved substance abuse program. The restricted license also requires the use of an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID is required for at least one year after completing the license suspension and while under court probation.
Once an offender is convicted of a felony DUI, all future DUI convictions within 15 years will be considered felonies.
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 $5,000 in fines.
In Idaho, driving with a BAC of .20% or more carries increased DUI penalties. 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.
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. Restricted licenses for this offense are prohibited.
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 15 years in prison. The court may also restrict, suspend, or revoke the driver's license for as long as it deems appropriate.