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Is DUI a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Idaho?


Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Idaho. DUI offenses can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. You are prohibited from driving in the state if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is above a stipulated level. If you are aged below 21, the BAC threshold is 0.02%. If your BAC is found above this level, you are deemed DUI. If you are aged above 21, the BAC threshold rises to 0.08%. For commercial drivers in Idaho, the BAC threshold is 0.04%.

The DUI laws in Idaho are progressive. This means the penalties get more severe with the second, third and subsequent DUI offenses. You may be able to get off with fairly light penalties on your first DUI offense if there’s no injury or child endangerment involved. However, even with a light penalty, you have a DUI citation placed on your criminal record.

Idaho has a DUI lookback period of ten years. This means that a DUI citation will stay on your record for this duration. If you commit any subsequent DUI offenses during this period, they are counted as additions to the original offense. The first DUI offense is typically regarded as a misdemeanor in Idaho. The second offense also counts as a misdemeanor. However, if you commit a third DUI offense during the lookback period, you are charged with felony.

To better understand the penalties for each DUI offense, here’s a detailed look at each.

1st DUI Offense: Misdemeanor

The first DUI offense is charged as a misdemeanor. You face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if your BAC is below 0.20%. If your BAC level is 0.20% or higher, you face harsher penalties. In such a case, you may face up to 1 year in jail with a fine of up to $2,000. The license suspension for 1st DUI offense may range from 90 days to 1 year, depending on your BAC.

2nd DUI Offense: Misdemeanor

If you get a second DUI citation within 10 years of the first DUI offense, this counts as the 2nd DUI offense. The state of Idaho regards 2nd DUI offense as a misdemeanor. If your BAC is below 0.20%, you face up to 1 year in jail, with at least 10 days of mandatory jail-time. You may also pay fines of up to $1,000 and have your license suspended for at least 1 year.

2nd Offense With BAC at or Above 0.20%: Felony

If you are booked for DUI with BAC at 0.20% or above, and within 5 years of a previous DUI with BAC at 0.20% or above, this is considered a felony violation. In this case, you face a mandatory jail-time of at least 30 days and up to a maximum of 5 years. You may also be fined up to $5,000 and have your license suspended for 1 to 5 years. In addition to these, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for at least 1 year.

3rd Offense: Felony

The 3rd DUI offense in Idaho is charged as a felony. The jail-time for the third offense is 30 days to 10 years. You also face a fine of up to $5,000 and a license suspension of 1 to 5 years. As with the 2nd offense, a 3rd DUI offense mandates installing an ignition interlock device for at least 1 year.

Aggravated DUI: Felony

If you are found DUI and you cause an accident that result in serious bodily harm or injury to another person, it is regarded as aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI is deemed a felony in Idaho and the penalties for it are a lot more serious. These include being sentenced to a minimum of 30 days in county jail with a maximum of up to 15 years in a state prison. The license suspension period for aggravated DUI is 1 to 5 years. You may also be fined up to $5,000.

Hiring a Boise DUI Attorney

A DUI citation can result in serious penalties, especially if it is your second or third offense. Depending on the count of the offense and its seriousness, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. It is possible to fight a DUI conviction and try to seek reduced penalties. You can also explore options like court-mandated rehab, DUI education programs and community services. These alternatives can help you avoid jail-time in many cases. However, you need an experienced Boise DUI lawyer to help you explore these options and plead them with the court.

Here at Boise DUI Guy, our attorneys specialize in contesting DUI convictions. We believe that everyone has a right to a fair legal defense. This is why we work with you to seek reduced sentences. In minor DUI offense cases, we seek to have the charges scrapped altogether. Contact us today to discuss the specific details of your DUI conviction and book a FREE consultation with our Boise DUI lawyers.