As in most other states, a driver in Idaho is considered intoxicated and may be arrested if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater. A BAC of this number is the only proof necessary to charge a driver with a DUI or DWI offense. However, depending on the circumstances, other BAC levels can lead to Idaho DUI penalties. Minors cannot have a BAC of .02 percent or greater, for instance, and commercial drivers cannot have a BAC exceeding .03 percent.
A DUI may also result if one’s BAC is less than .08 percent if the driver is found to be under the influence of another intoxicant as well. A BAC of .15 to .20 percent can result in stiffer penalties above and beyond the normal penalties for the various levels of offense. Idaho’s implied consent law further says that a driver consents to BAC tests simply by driving a motor vehicle. Therefore, if the driver refuses the test, he or she can still be charged.
1st DUI Offense
A first DUI offense in Idaho can result in up to six months of jail time, a maximum $1,000 fine, 30 days of mandatory license suspension of between 90 and 180 days, and it may extend to a year if the driver is a minor. Refusing to take a BAC test serves even stiffer penalties, including a $250 fine and one year of license suspension. It may be possible to mediate these Idaho DUI penalties by installing an ignition interlock device for strictly necessary driving, such as from work or school.
2nd DUI Offense
A second DUI conviction in Idaho carries a possible mandatory jail time of at least 10 days, which can be extended to a year, 30 days if the driver is a minor and a maximum $2,000 fine. A one-year license suspension is possible for drivers older than 21, and this will extend to two years if the driver is under 21. Refusing the BAC test a second time amounts to a two-year license suspension and a $250 fine.
3rd DUI Offense
A third DUI conviction in Idaho within a five-year time period is considered a felony. This also means jail time of at least 30 days and up to five years. Fines can be up to $5,000, and license suspension can range from one to five years, or it could last two years if the driver is a minor. A third offense of the state’s implied consent law carries the same consequences as the second offense.
Unlike some states, Idaho does not have mandatory vehicle confiscation or installation of an ignition interlock device. The latter is a choice in some cases if drivers want to retain some necessary driving privileges. Alcohol treatment and education programs are also possible alternatives to jail time or fines, but they are not necessarily required. The most severe DUI consequences usually result from the driver’s BAC significantly exceeding the legal limit or in cases in which the driver caused serious injury or death by driving impaired.