Idaho DUI Penalties

dui arrest boiseIf you are arrested for DUI in Idaho, the state immediately begins two (2) concurrent actions against you:

The Idaho Implied Consent DMV Proceeding

This is where the state of Idaho will attempt to suspend your driver’s license as soon as possible.  You have only a short time (generally seven days) to request a hearing to request an administrative hearing to challenge the automatic implied consent suspension.  Your Idaho license (or your right to drive in Idaho if you’re not a Idaho license driver) will most likely be suspended for anywhere from one to two years for refusing a breath test. See Idaho Code 18-8002. Read your implied consent paperwork carefully. This hearing is sometimes referred to as an ALS Hearing.

Your Idaho driver license (or your right to drive in Idaho if you do not have a valid Idaho license) may be suspended for failing a breath or blood test or for refusing a breath, or blood test. If you act within seven days of your arrest you can request an appeal of the proposed suspension by the DMV for failing or refusing the test. An administrative hearing will then be scheduled on your appeal request. The implied consent suspension generally starts 30 days after your arrest.

The Criminal DUI Case – Idaho Code 18-8004

Separate from the implied consent suspension is the criminal charge for DUI. Under Idaho law, it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicating substances, or any combination of alcohol, drugs and/or any other intoxicating substances, or who has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more, as shown by analysis of his blood, urine, or breath, to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state, whether upon a highway, street or bridge, or upon public or private property open to the public. “Actual physical control” means being in the driver’s position of the motor vehicle with the motor running or with the motor vehicle moving.

If you are convicted of the DUI charge, you will also lose your license for a time (or your right to drive in Idaho if you don’t have a valid Idaho license). This suspension is separate and distinct from the suspension for failing / refusing a breath test. However, to the extent these suspensions overlap, they generally run concurrently. Talk to your Idaho DUI lawyer for possible suspension lengths for your situation.

What happens if I get caught driving while my license is suspended / revoked?

Driving without privileges (suspended / revoked) should be avoided as it is a new misdemeanor crime. Penalties include jail time, a fine, and an additional license suspension. These penalties increase if you have prior convictions for driving without privileges. See Idaho Code 18-8001.

Is a DUI in Idaho a misdemeanor or felony charge?

In Idaho, a DUI charge is a usually a misdemeanor crime. However, if you have a prior offense within the past 10 years the charge may be classified as a felony. Refer to the table below. Aggravated DUI (causing significant injury to another) is also a felony offense regardless of prior history.

Upon conviction of an Idaho DUI charge, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties including alcohol screening / treatment / education. A range of penalties is set forth below:


First Idaho DUI – BAC < .20%
Idaho Code 18-8005

up to six months jail;
up to $1000 in fines;
90 – 180 days Idaho license suspension.

First Idaho DUI – BAC .20% or greater
excessive alcohol concentration
Idaho Code 18-8004C

10 – 365 days jail;
up to $2000 in fines;
one year Idaho license suspension after release from confinement.

Second Idaho DUI – BAC < .20 %
second offense within past 10 years

10 – 365 days jail;
up to $2000 in fines;
one year Idaho license suspension after release from confinement.

Second Idaho DUI – BAC .20% or greater
excessive alcohol concentration
Idaho Code 18-8004C

30 days jail to five years prison;
up to $5000 in fines;
one to five year Idaho license suspension starting after release.

Third or greater Idaho DUI
third offense within past 10 years

30 days to ten years jail / prison;
up to $5000 in fines;
one to five year Idaho license suspension starting after release.

Aggravated Idaho DUI
DUI while causing great bodily
harm, permanent disability / disfigurement to another person
Idaho Code 18-8006

30 days jail to 15 years prison;
up to a $5000 fine;
one to five year Idaho license suspension starting after release.

How much jail / prison time will I have to do if I am convicted of a DUI in Idaho?

The amount of incarceration (jail or prison) received will depend on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) the following:

• your prior driving record especially your DUI history (including any DWI’s / DUI’s outside of Idaho);

• your level of intoxication / BAC (a BAC of .20% or greater results in greater penalties by statute);

• whether there was an collision involved;

• whether there was an injury to another person in the collision;

• which Idaho county or court your case is in;

• what judge you are sentenced by;

• whether there were passenger(s) / child(ren) in your car;

• whether the sentencing judge feels you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

What happens if I was on probation when I got arrested for an Idaho DUI?

Committing a new offense while you’re on probation for a previous crime creates two problems. First, you face the new Idaho DUI charge. Second, you face a probation violation hearing for failing to obey all laws (a standard condition of probation). The most serious scenario is when you receive a new Idaho DUI offense when you’re already on probation for a previous DUI offense. When this happens, its in your best interest to speak to a Idaho DUI lawyer as soon as you can.

Will I be able to get auto insurance with a DUI on my record?

If your insurance company finds out about a Idaho DUI one of two things are likely to happen. Either your Idaho insurer will raise your rates or you may be cancelled or non-renewed. Your insurance company will absolutely learn of your DUI if you have to file an SR-22.

What is an SR-22 / Proof of Financial Responsibility?

An SR-22 is a form from an Idaho licensed insurance company certifying that you have purchased liability insurance that meets the minimum required coverage limits. The SR-22 provides proof to the Idaho DMV that you are insured. If you cancel your insurance or the insurance company cancels your policy before your suspension period is over, the company must notify DMV that the certificate is canceled.

An SR-22 must be maintained for three years from the date you’re eligible for reinstatement following an Idaho DUI conviction.