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Idaho DUI

Idaho DUI

Idaho has fairly strict laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI), A little bit of knowledge about the laws, and how not to drive over the limit, can help you avoid the worst consequences. Nonetheless, DUIs are one of the most common criminal charges. Regular people who have never even though about committing a crime in their life can get a DUI, and the consequences can be severe and long lasting. The qualified Idaho DUI lawyers at Racine Olson, PLLP can help you mitigate the damages, and fight any charges.


The first thing to know about DUIs in Idaho is that if the police pull you over for suspicion of DUI they can ask for a breathalyzer, blood, and urine test. If you refuse to take any of the tests you automatically get penalized, and you can still be convicted of DUI. Notwithstanding the regular DUI penalties you will get a $250 fine, a one year license suspension, and for a year after your suspension you have to install an ignition interlock system on you car at your own expense. A DUI lawyer can help you potentially get the license suspension partially lifted after 45 days, so you can at least drive to work or school, but you will still have to put an ignition interlock system in your car.

BAC & Penalties

In Idaho blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the primary way of determining whether a person is driving under the influence. The exact limit is dependent on if you are under or over 21 years of age, and whether or not your driving a commercial vehicle.

If your under 21 years of age the limit for BAC is 0.02. That is basically one to one and half beers for an average sized person. In other words, if you drink at all and get behind the wheel, while your under age, your in for a bad time. If you are under 21 there are lots of reasons not to drink, just add this to the list.

If you are driving a commercial vehicle 0.04 is the limit. This is not much more than the limit for the under 21 crowd. If you have your CDL you likely know that a DUI, even off the job, will likely have some serious consequences on your employment. It often best to avoid drinks altogether while your working, and make sure you have enough down time between drinking and the next time you drive to get everything out of your system.

For most drivers 0.08 is the limit. Understanding BAC is crucial to staying out of trouble. Idaho calculates BAC based on alcohol concentration in blood, breath, or urine. Obviously, when your out drinking you do not carry around a crime lab with you. You can try to estimate BAC with a calculator or estimator on the internet, but be sure to take a very conservative approach. None of these calculators are particularly accurate because there are too many factors that go into your actual BAC, such as age, sex, body weight, body fat content, and metabolism. Let alone the fact that you probably do not know exactly how much alcohol just went into that cocktail you had, or exactly how many beers you had in the last two hours. The best advice any DUI lawyer in Idaho could give is to be extremely conservative with thinking about driving after any amount of drinking.

The chart below gives you the basic penalties for DUI in Idaho. Fines, jail time, and license suspension all ratchet up for each subsequent offense with in ten years, even if it happened out of state.

1st Offense Misdemeanor2nd Offense Misdemeanor3rd Offense Felony
FineUp to $1000Up to $2000Up to $5000
Jail0 days – 6 months10 days – 1 year30 days – 10 years
License Suspension30day + 60-150 days with a restricted license1 year, possible restricted license after 45 days1 year + up to 4 years, can be with a restricted license
Ignition InterlockFor 1 year starting at the end of your suspensionFor 1 year starting at the end of your suspensionFor 1 year starting at the end of your suspension

Idaho has increased penalties for BAC levels at 0.20 or above. This is a level of intoxication where you may have trouble standing. The penalties for a 1st offense at 0.20 are like those for a second offense at 0.08-0.19, and 2nd offenses are likewise like third offenses at lower levels of intoxication, with some slight changes. Furthermore, Judges are more likely to give harsher penalties when you are at this level.

Drugs and Medication

BAC is not the only way to get convicted of DUI. In fact, you can be convicted of DUI on police observation alone without any tests. Essentially, if you looked and behaved like you were above the limit, that’s enough. This is how you can be convicted of DUI when narcotics or medication are involved, despite there being no specific blood concentration levels for these things. Generally, if the police suspect that drugs or medication is a cause of impairment they are going to get a blood test. If any amount of illegal drugs show up in your system the police will assume your intoxicated, whether or not you actually were. The situation is slightly different for prescription medication, where a showing that the medication is not likely to cause drowsiness can sometimes win the day.

Collateral Consequences

Many people do not think about the collateral consequences of DUI convictions, but they can be severe. When your looking for a job, you may have to indicate on the application that you have been convicted of a crime. A conviction can effect any ongoing family law case you might have. Some profession licenses might get suspended or withheld. If you are an immigrant the consequences can include deportation. Additionally, a felony DUI means you cannot legal own or possess a firearm. The collateral consequences of any conviction can be harsh and unexpected, a frank discussion of them with your DUI lawyer can help you prepare.

How We Fight DUI Prosecutions

There are a couple of good ways to for a DUI lawyer in Idaho to attack a prosecution depending on the specifics of the situation. First, if the police violate the fourth amendment of the US Constitution or Article I, Section 17 of the Idaho Constitution, we can potentially have all the evidence suppressed. If circumstances allow, we can file a motion for a hearing on a potential violation and fight for the suppression of evidence. Second, sometimes the police fail to properly administer tests, or fail to calibrate their machines. While this is a long shot, it can lead to charges getting dropped. Third, in the case of impairment due to medication we can look into whether the dose prescribed actually can cause drowsiness or impair your ability to drive. Depending on your specific circumstances, there are a number of other ways DUI attorney in Idaho can fight prosecutions, or to mitigate the damage if an outright acquittal is not possible.

Contact Us

The knowledgeable, experienced, and diligent Idaho DUI attorneys at Racine Olson, PLLP are here to help you and your family when you need it the most. Whether a misdemeanor or felony, our Idaho criminal defense attorneys are prepared to guide you through the legal process and fight for you at every turn. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation with the Racine Olson, PLLP team of criminal defense attorneys. You can also email an us directly at We stand ready to answer your questions and help solve your criminal defense needs.

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