According to Idaho statutes, it is unlawful for individuals to operate or be in physical control a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. “Physical control” is defined as being in the driver’s position of a vehicle while the vehicle’s motor is running or being in the driver’s position while the vehicle is in motion. An individual who is over the age of 21 may be considered under the influence if that person has a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08 percent or above. Commercial drivers are considered impaired if their BAC is .04 or above. Individuals under the age of 21 are considered to be under the influence of alcohol if their BAC is .02 or above.
If person is driving a motor vehicle or in physical control of a vehicle in the state of Idaho has, according to state statues, given consent to testing for the presence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances. When a test for such substances is requested by authorities, a person is not afforded to right to consult with an attorney and must be informed of the penalties related to failure to submit or complete the test. Such penalties may include a fine and the suspension of driving privileges for a prescribed about of time, and the severity of the penalties may be aggravated by multiple refusals in a 10-year period.
Felony Idaho DUI Laws
A person who is convicted of their first DUI in 10 years is guilty of a misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of a third DUI in the past 10 year, that person is guilty of a felony. Felony charges may also be levied against an individual who has caused injury to another person while driving under the influence. Conviction of felony charges results in enhanced penalties, including extended periods of incarceration and larger fines.
Recent Changes to Idaho DUI Laws
House Bill 61, which was passed on Feb. 23, 2011, amended state statutes under Title 18, Chapter 80, which outlines crimes and punishments regarding the operation of a motor vehicle. Previously, state statute required that the a person who refuses to submit or complete an evidentiary blood alcohol content test would have his or her driver’s license seized by authorities who would then give them a temporary permit allowing the person to operate a vehicle until a requested hearing regarding the suspension of the driver’s license. The bill removed language that required an officer to seize the license and removed the provisions for issuing a temporary driving permit. The legislation was enacted on May 1, 2011.
On Apr. 8, 2011, House Bill 227 also made changes to same statutes. The legislation allows individuals who have had driving privileges suspended due to refusal of an evidentiary blood alcohol content test to pursue a restricted driving permit if they have served at least 45 days in a problem-solving court program. The restricted permit allows the holder to operate a vehicle for the purpose of traveling to work, school or an alcohol treatment program. The provisions of the bill came into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.
What Is The Legal Alcohol Limit In Idaho?
In Idaho, driving under the influence (DUI) offenses are typically filed against people who register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater. This legal alcohol limit applies to people 21 and over who are driving passenger vehicles. The limit is stricter for drivers not of legal drinking age (.02 percent) and operators of commercial vehicles (.04 percent).
People found guilty of driving under the influence face severe penalties, potentially including:
- For a first offense, charged as a misdemeanor, a person may need to pay a fine of $1,000, spend up to six months in jail and contend with a license suspension of 180 days.
- For a second offense, also a misdemeanor, a convicted individual could have to pay a fine of up to $2,000, spend a year in jail and endure a year without driving privileges.
- For a third offense, charged as a felony, a person may face a fine of $5,000, five years in jail and a license suspension of five years.
People who have a BAC well over the legal limit (.20 percent or greater) usually face enhanced penalties for convictions. Aggravated DUI offenses, such as those involving serious injury to another person, are also more severely punished in Idaho.
Ignition Interlock Requirements In Idaho
An ignition interlock device (IID) requires a passing breath test in order to start a vehicle’s engine. The device is intended to prevent people with DUI convictions from repeat offending. Conditions attached the IID include:
- All costs related installation and maintenance are the responsibility of the convicted individual.
- Device installation must be performed by an authorized service provider.
- Failed tests or evidence of tampering can result in additional penalties.
IID use is not mandatory of for first-time DUI offenses, but a judge may independently require it. People with a second (or subsequent) conviction are required to have the IID installed in order to regain driving privileges.