All Idaho drivers have impliedly consented to take a test to determine alcohol concentration if lawfully requested to do so by an Idaho peace officer who suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol. If you are arrested for an Idaho DUI, you may refuse to take the test; but if you do, the arresting officer will seize your driver’s license. The officer may issue a temporary driving permit good for 7 days, giving you the opportunity to request a hearing. If the court upholds the officer’s findings, your license can be suspended for 180 days for refusing to take the alcohol concentration test if it’s your first offense. So if you are arrested in Idaho for a DUI it’s important to contact an attorney right away to protect your rights.
Idaho DUI arrests trigger two separate cases, and anyone arrested for drunk driving in Idaho needs to be aware of this. The first case is the criminal court case, where those accused of Idaho DUI face jail, fines, mandatory alcohol education classes, and more. However, those who are caught drinking and driving in Idaho also face consequences from the Idaho Transportation Department.
Idaho DUI arrests will result in mandatory license suspensions unless a timely request for an administrative hearing is made. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Idaho, you have only SEVEN (7) DAYS from the date of your arrest to request a hearing. An administrative hearing must be requested in writing and must be faxed, mailed, or hand-delivered to the Idaho Transportation Department. The written request for a hearing must include the issue(s) to be raised at the hearing.
All Idaho drivers have impliedly consented to take a test to determine alcohol concentration if lawfully requested to do so by an Idaho peace officer who suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol (DUI). If you are arrested for Idaho DUI, you may refuse to take the test, but if you do, the arresting officer will seize your driver’s license. The officer may issue you a temporary driving permit good for 7 days; giving you the opportunity to request a hearing. If the court upholds the officer’s findings, your license will be suspended for 180 days for refusing to take the alcohol concentration test if it is your first offense. This penalty is in addition to any penalty you receive in court for an alcohol or drug-related conviction. A second refusal within five years will result in a one-year suspension. These suspensions do not provide for restricted privileges of any kind.
If you take and fail an evidentiary test, the peace officer will arrest you, seize your driver’s license, and if you are eligible, issue you a temporary driving permit valid for 30 days. You will have the opportunity to request an administrative hearing within seven days of your arrest, to contest the seizure and suspension of your license and driving privileges before an Idaho Transportation Department Hearing Officer.
If you fail to request a hearing within the seven-day time period or do not prevail at the requested hearing, your license will be suspended for 90 days on a first offense (you may be eligible to receive a restricted driving permit for the last 60 days of your suspension). A second or subsequent offense within five years will result in a one-year suspension, with absolutely no driving privileges of any kind.
Idaho DUI Court Case
Idaho has both a “per se” law and an “under the influence” law. This means that a person can be arrested and convicted of violating Idaho drunk driving laws if they are driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher, or if they are under the influence of alcohol. It is possible to be impaired by alcohol and still be below the legal limit. Evidence to support such a conviction will come from the arresting officer’s observations of driving pattern, physical appearance, field sobriety test performance, and other factors.
Punishments in Idaho drunk driving cases are listed below. Note that these punishments may be increased in certain Idaho DUI cases, such as where the alcohol level is .20% or higher. Also note that Idaho has a five-year “washout” period, meaning that the DUI arrests must occur within five years of each other to be considered a second- or third offense under Idaho DUI law.
DUI First Offense
- Up to $1,000.00 fine
- 2 days to 6 months jail
- Suspend driver’s license for 180 days with at least the first 30 days absolute and the remainder restricted
- Obtain an alcohol evaluation
- Follow the recommendation of an evaluation
- Attend Victims’ Panel
- 1 to 2 years probation – may be supervised.
DUI Second Offense (within a five year period)
- Up to $2,000.00 fine
- 10 days to 1-year jail
- 1-year absolute license suspension
- Obtain an alcohol evaluation
- Follow the recommendation of the evaluation
- Interlock device on the car for 1 year after driver’s license suspension ends
- 2-year probation – usually supervised.
DUI Third Offense
This will be a felony if it is received within 5 years of the first offense OR within 10 years of a prior felony DUI
- Up to $5,000.00 fine
- 30 days to 5 years incarceration
- Suspend driver’s license for 1 to 5 years with at least the first year absolute
- Supervised felony probation.