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What happens when I have more than 3 DUIs in a short period?


A DUI citation is a serious offense which can leave a lasting impact on your life. DUI citations typically stay on your criminal record for many years. You may face higher insurance rates, difficulty in securing employment and many other problems due to a DUI citation.

However, the first DUI citation results in relatively minor penalties. It is with second and third offenses that the penalties start to become really harsh. Idaho DUI laws are generally considered harsh compared to many other states, and multiple DUI offenses within a short period can lead to serious consequences for the driver. To understand the penalties for multiple DUI in a short period, it is first important to understand how lookback period works.

How the lookback period works?

A lookback period is the duration for which a DUI citation stays on your criminal record. For the state of Idaho, the lookback period is 10 years. If you are flagged for DUI, the citation will stay on your record for 10 years. If you commit more DUI offenses within the lookback period, these will count as additional offenses.

Legally, it doesn’t matter if you have multiple DUIs within days or within a stretch of ten years. They will be regarded as compounding offenses. However, if you commit DUI offenses in a very short period, this can lead to a harsher judgment. The judge may take the view that you are not serious in obeying the law. This may persuade the judge to impose the maximum fines and penalties for the offenses. Luckily, a certified Boise DUI Attorney can work with you to try and get these penalties minimized. 

Penalties for the first DUI offense

On your first DUI conviction, you receive a relatively light penalty. The actual sentence also depends on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For BAC under 0.20%, you can receive up to 6 months in jail and fined up to $1,000. However, there is no minimum jail-time stipulated for first-time offenders. So you may be able to avoid jail time altogether. The first DUI offense is regarded as a misdemeanor violation in Idaho.

If your BAC is at or above 0.20%, you may receive enhanced penalties. For first-time DUI offense, these penalties include a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail time of 10 days to a year.

A first DUI offense typically results in a license suspension period of 1 to 6 months. With BAC below 0.20%, you may qualify for restricted driving privileges. For BAC of 0.20% or above, the suspension period is 1 year with no limited privileges.

Penalties for second DUI offense

If you are charged a second time within the lookback period, this counts as the second DUI offense. The second DUI citation comes with harsher penalties. For BAC under 0.20%, you may be fined up to $2,000 with a jail time of up to one year. The minimum mandatory jail time is 10 days for second-offense DUI. The second charge is also regarded as a misdemeanor violation.

If the BAC is at or above 0.20%, and a previous DUI with a BAC at or above 0.20% exists, enhanced penalties will apply. These include a jail time of 30 days to 5 years and a maximum fine of up to $5,000.

The second-offense DUI charge also comes with stricter driving restrictions. For BAC under 0.20%, your license is suspended for 1 year. For BAC above 0.20%, with a previous citation involving BAC above 0.20%, suspension period is 1 to 5 years. You don’t get any restricted driving privileges in a second DUI charge.

Penalties for the third DUI offense

A third DUI charge within the lookback period of last two offenses is regarded as the third DUI offense. The third offense is regarded as a felony conviction and comes with the harshest set of penalties.

For BAC under 0.20%, the standard penalties include a fine up to $5,000. The jail time is a minimum of 1 month and up to 5 years. Your driver license will be suspended for 1 to 5 years. Installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is also mandatory after the third offense.

Any subsequent DUI charges after the third offense are regarded as felony convictions. So the fourth DUI offense within a single lookback period, for instance, counts as a second felony. From the 3rd DUI offense onwards, the penalties get really serious. If you’ve committed more than 3 DUIs in a short period, you need help. This includes legal help as well as rehabilitation and addiction treatment. 

A DUI attorney may be able to help you get reduced penalties and rehab instead of jail time. Our Boise DUI lawyers have helped a number of DUI convicts get off with lighter sentences. Let us review your case and see if there’s any way we can help. Reach out to us today for a free consultation with our attorneys.