Idaho residents and visitors who drive in the Idaho need to be aware of the serious legal implications of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The applicable Idaho law is detailed in Idaho statute 18-8004. The actual charge is often referred to as DUI, which stands for Driving Under the Influence. While the offense sometimes is referred to as “DWI” (Driving While Intoxicated), the term DUI is used more commonly in Idaho.
What Constitutes DUI in Idaho?
- A driver can be charged with DUI under the Idaho criminal statute if he or she operates any vehicle on a highway, street, or any public vehicular area:
- While under the influence of an impairing substance; or
With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more; or
With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites in his or her blood or urine.
- For drivers under age 21, Idaho has a zero-tolerance policy: It is illegal for an under-age driver to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol or drugs in his or her system. If a driver is operating a commercial vehicle, the blood alcohol concentration that constitutes impaired driving is 0.04 percent or more.
- Schedule I controlled substances generally include a comprehensive range of opiates, opiate derivatives, hallucinogenics, depressants, and stimulants. Even if the driver has a legal prescription for a controlled substance, driving with the drug in his or her system is prohibited. Having the prescription is not a defense to the charge.
What Are the Penalties for DUI in Idaho?
The level of punishment for DUI depends on several factors, including:
- Whether the charge is a first offense or not;
Presence of grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors (explained below);
Whether anyone was injured or killed or whether the driver’s conduct was likely to injure or kill another person.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
- The assessment of grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors in a DUI case is very complex and has a direct impact on the penalties that result from a DUI conviction. Those sentencing factors include the following:
Grossly Aggravating factors:
- A DUI offense that caused serious injury to or death of another person;
A DUI arrest with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle;
Any prior DUI conviction within seven years;
Driving on a license revoked by a prior DUI charge.
- Gross impairment or a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or more;
Driving with a revoked license;
Reckless or dangerous driving;
Negligent driving that caused a reportable accident;
Passing a stopped school bus;
Fleeing or trying to escape the police;
Speeding by 30 mph or more in excess of the speed limit;
Prior serious motor vehicle offenses, including those not DUI-related.
- Relatively slight impairment or a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.09 percent;
A safe driving record;
DUI circumstances that were otherwise safe and uneventful;
Impairment by a legally prescribed drug on a dosage within prescribed limits;
Voluntary entry in an appropriate treatment program after arrest;
Proof of successful completion of 60 days under continuous alcohol monitoring system.
DUI Sentencing Levels
Idaho has six levels of sentencing for DUI:
- Aggravated Level One DUI
Level One DUI
Level Two DUI
Level Three DUI
Level Four DUI
Level Five DUI
The levels rank in decreasing order of severity from Aggravated Level One (the most serious) to Level Five (the least serious). The court determines the sentencing level following the DUI trial.
The court relies heavily on the assessment of mitigating, aggravating, and grossly aggravating factors in determining the sentencing level. For example, Level Five DUI, the least serious level, is likely to be applied when mitigating factors are present and no grossly aggravating factors are found. Level Five punishment can include a fine of up to $200 and a maximum prison term of 60 days. The judge may suspend in the sentence in Levels Three, Four, or Five if certain conditions are met.
Potential fines and prison time increase as the sentencing level increases in severity. Like Level Five, sentencing Levels Four and Three are situations that involve no grossly aggravating factors. When grossly aggravating factors exist, the sentencing level will be Aggravated Level One, Level One, or Level Two. The existence of three or more grossly aggravating factors lead to Aggravated Level One sentencing, which carries a maximum fine is $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 36 months.
Other Penalties and Conditions
In addition to fines and prison terms, conviction of a DUI offense likely will result in some or all of the following being imposed by the court:
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license;
Requirement for undergoing alcohol or drug assessment and treatment;
Required performance of community service;
Having an Interlock Ignition Device installed on your car;
Payment of all fees and court costs related to the arrest and conviction.
Do You Need to Have a Lawyer to Defend You on a Idaho DUI Charge?
If you are arrested on a DUI charge in Idaho, regardless of the circumstances, it is essential to retain an experienced DUI attorney to represent you. DUI law is extremely complicated both in terms of how to defend against the criminal charge and regarding facts and circumstances that constitute mitigating and aggravating factors that affect the severity of sentencing.
Providing the best defense requires a Idaho attorney who knows the DUI law and court practices relating to the charge and to sentencing. Our criminal defense attorneys at Boiseduilawyer.org have substantial experience defending DUI charges arising from alcohol and drugs and are here to vigorously defend you against all DUI charges in Idaho Idaho courts.
In addition to Idaho court DUI charges in Idaho, you can be charged with a DUI offense in federal court if you drive impaired in one of our Idaho’s federally-owned national parks and protected areas. Our attorneys handle federal DUI charges as well as Idaho DUI charges in Idaho.
The defense of a Boise DUI requires experience in a very specialized field. In addition to being well versed in evidentiary law, criminal law, and constitutional law, a good DUI attorney must understand the science behind your blood alcohol test, and have the experience to understand how the Boise Police make DUI arrests. With our aggressive and effective tactics, we have represented many clients in Idaho that have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Experience in the field allows us to uncover the weaknesses in the evidence against you. Every case is different, but the goal is always the same:
Retaining Your License And Keeping You Out Of Jail
If you have been accused of a crime in Idaho, you need a boiseduilawyer in front and behind you that knows the system and is aggressive, committed, and tenacious in defense of your rights and your liberty.
We are a Boise, Idaho DUI and Criminal Defense Law Firm that is fully prepared to fight for your rights on any level. Our firm will ensure that if you are accused of a crime, you can have access to the highest quality attorneys who will defend you to the conclusion of your case. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime, don’t wait, contact us today.
In theory, the criminal law system is designed to protect your rights as a citizen. But in the real world, law enforcement, and judges all have a job they are assigned to do – which is to convict you as quickly and easily as possible. To do this, the criminal justice system counts on your lack of knowledge and inexperience with the legal system to allow you to help do their job for them.
The police will take advantage of your natural instincts to do the right thing and convincingly lie to you, threaten you, and intimidate you in a coordinated effort to have you give them the evidence they need to prosecute you with minimal effort.
That’s why you must have a boise dui lawyer who knows the local system and will hold the authorities accountable. A local DWAI attorney who will protect you from legal pitfalls and exploit the mistakes that law enforcement officers frequently make because of there haste in trying to convict you.
Find out how an expert Boise DUI Lawyer can help you today:
If you are arrested for drunk driving, you need to hire an attorney to defend you in court. Be aware that a Boise DUI attorney is not the only person you should turn to if you’re charged with a crime and you want a second opinion.
In any criminal case, there are lawyers representing each side. Criminal defense attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense are usually attorneys who are experienced and very skilled in their field. Some of them have previous criminal cases and some have an advanced education in the legal field. In any case, you need an attorney who will fight on your behalf for you. You may be surprised at what an Boise DUI attorney can do for you.
An Idaho criminal defense attorney is trained to handle each case with the utmost expertise. You can bet they understand every possible way that your case could go from the first step to the last. They are knowledgeable about the different laws governing a DUI arrest and your rights. They know exactly how you can win the case for you and not just yours but also for the state. A DUI defense attorney can help you with the prosecution and get you off the hook or at least the charge that was handed down to you.
When it comes to DUI charges, the temptation of getting drunk and driving is there. You may drink too much and think that it is okay. For this reason, a drunk driving arrest is something that you cannot control. It is something that happens when you are not careful. All you can do is to protect yourself from a long-term, destructive situation. A DUI attorney can help you with your case because he or she knows how to properly represent you.
It is very important that you do not drink and drive if you want to avoid trouble. Most people do not understand that it is not really the alcohol that drives someone over the edge but the drink. If you drink responsibly and you learn from your mistakes, you will find your life without any problems. However, most people do not know this and do not take the necessary steps to correct the problem. In many cases, a drunk driving arrest is the end of your lives.
Whether you are looking for a DUI defense attorney or defense for your charges, it is always important to do your research and think clearly. You need to know what you can expect out of a DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney will help you get the best results for your case. He or she will represent you to the court and get you the best result for your case.
The question that you need to ask yourself is whether you really need a Boise DUI lawyer or whether you need a Boise DUI attorney or defense? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you decide which option is best for you.
With offices in Boise, Meridian and Eagle, we serve clients throughout northeastern Idaho. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.