Not every DUI is the same in Idaho. Severity is considered, as is perceived repeat behavior (if applicable). Severity is reflected by the designation of a DUI as excessive. Higher blood alcohol content is considered a stronger violation of the law, and it is reflected in the potential sentencing – particularly for repeat convictions.
“Excessive alcohol concentration” is the technical name for this crime, which involves driving under the influence with an alcohol concentration of 0.20 or higher. As an experienced DUI attorney in Boise, we find this discussed within the Motor Vehicles Chapter (80) of the Crimes and Punishments Title (18), specifically in Section 18-8004C.
The potential sentences in Idaho resulting from conviction follow.
Even if it is your first arrest for excessive DUI, you can get up to a $2000 fine and up to a year in jail – with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days. That first instance of excessive alcohol concentration DUI is a misdemeanor. A conviction also results in loss of the right to drive for a mandatory minimum of 1 year, following release from incarceration.
If you have a second driving under the influence conviction that is at an alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more, it is a felony – assuming it is within 5 years. The maximum fine is $5000. Loss of driving rights is a mandatory minimum 1 year and maximum of 5 years following jail time. A second conviction of this type also requires that an ignition interlock system be installed on any car driven by the individual.
Possibility of regaining some driving privileges
Hearing that a conviction can mean no driving for a year or more may sound terrible; however, there are exceptions. An individual with this conviction has the option to enroll in a drug court or mental health court in order to get their privileges reinstated. If they are within that system and are attending an alcohol treatment program, they can use a vehicle specifically to get to that program, as well as work or school.
No matter what, you lose driving rights for 45 days minimum. You also need the ignition interlock system on your cars for at least 1 year. Any driving you do during this period must be noncommercial; i.e., you cannot be driving for a living.