When you’re pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI), it’s not just embarrassing. It can put your license in jeopardy, harm your career and education prospects, and lead to steep costs and jail sentences, among other concerns. A DUI conviction can haunt your record for years to come.
Whether your accusation involves operating under the influence of alcohol, or illicit or prescription drugs, the seriousness of your situation should not be taken lightly. Fines, jail time, license suspension, and the stigma involved pose a real risk to your livelihood. If you don’t fight for your future, your DUI conviction can have far-reaching impacts that stick with you for the rest of your life. That’s why you need skilled legal guidance and defense.
At Trilogy Law Group, we’re here to help. We’ve defended countless clients facing DUI charges and have successfully gotten their charges dismissed or penalties lowered. The legal team at Trilogy Law Group is here to come to your defense using our experience, skills, and legal knowledge to present the most compelling case to judges based on the details of your case and circumstances.
Reach out for the guidance our Boise DUI lawyer can provide, and read on to learn more about the intricacies of Idaho DUI laws and what you may be facing with a DUI conviction.
What is Considered a DUI?
Idaho DUI law states that it’s illegal to operate any type of motor vehicle if you’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicant. Law enforcement agents look for a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or greater. However, it’s still possible to be arrested for erratic behavior if your level is below the state maximum.
Many motorists are arrested in Idaho for suspicion of DUI. Initially, law enforcement identifies offenders by noticing erratic driving behavior such as swerving, wide turns, erratic speed, and slow response to traffic signals. Once they’re pulled over, police officers may subject them to sobriety tests.
Driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol can be referred to as drugged driving. Any substance in which your balance, depth perception, or level of alertness is affected, impairing your ability to drive is considered to be a charge for DUI. This includes prescription drugs.
Legal Limits for Boise Drivers
In most cases, you have a set DUI limit. For adult Boise drivers, you must state under a 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. If you don’t, you may be arrested.
But not every driver is over the legal limit to buy and consume alcohol. Because of this, Boise drivers under 21 must abide by Idaho’s zero-tolerance law. That means they must not drive with any level of alcohol in their systems or they’ll face DUI charges.
No matter the legal limits, you may need guidance and legal aid to avoid these charges and the penalties they come with. If you’re facing these charges, contact a Boise lawyer who can give your case the DUI defense it deserves.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
Do not treat this like a routine speeding or parking ticket. The penalties for a DUI are severe and carry a heavy risk of negative effects on your future, personal and professional relationships, and finances. These state laws are complex and penalties vary based on individual circumstances and the number of previous offenses.
Not sure how serious your penalties may be? Check out the options below, and talk to a lawyer about your options to defend your case against these charges.
If found guilty, you will face a maximum jail time of six months and a maximum fine of $1,000. There is a mandatory suspension of your license for thirty days which you will not be able to drive at all. Restricted driving privileges can be requested at this time with an extension of license suspension to 150 days.
Except in certain circumstances, a state-approved ignition interlock system may be installed on all vehicles that you have the authority to operate. This device prevents drivers from operating their vehicles without a negative breathalyzer test. This is required to be completed within ten days of the license suspension, and the amount of time the device must remain installed depends on the details of your case and the judge’s determination. There is financial support available if you are unable to fund the ongoing use of this device.
Second offenders of a Boise DUI within the last ten years risk a jail sentence of up to one year in county jail with the possibility of a work detail program. The fines escalate to $2,000 but vary based on the specific circumstances and the court’s discretion. Driving privileges will be suspended for one year with the ability to use the ignition interlock after that is fulfilled
A third Boise DUI within the past ten years risks a jail sentence of up to ten years. The fine steepens to $5,000 and a license suspension of up to four years. Restricted driving privileges are at the discretion of the court. For a fourth, fifth, sixth, and above offense, the severity of jail time, fines, license revocation, and significant impact on your future increases steeply.
Idaho imposes stricter penalties for Boise DUIs with a BAC of 0.20 percent or greater. The first offense is a misdemeanor violation whereas a second and greater fall into the felony category. Jail time starts at ten days and can extend to five years depending on the severity of the case. Fines can be up to $5,000 and programs such as restricted driving and ignition interlock systems are mandatory.
Impact of Refusing a Chemical Test in Boise
When you are approached by law enforcement, it’s the first instinct of many to refuse a Breathalyzer. However, it’s typically best if you cooperate with the police and complete the tests requested of you. If you refuse a BAC test, an interlock device will be required to be installed in all vehicles that you operate.
A first-time failure to complete a chemical test results in a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. You cannot drive at all for one full year. This is true even if you’re not over the legal limit—when you accept a license, it’s implied that you agree to consent to a sobriety test, and if you revoke that consent, your license will be taken away, too.
Even if you refuse a breathalyzer, DUI charges can still be imposed. Police base probable cause on objective observations such as slurred speech, red eyes, and lack of coordination. If they have probable cause, they can get a warrant to test your blood. If this occurs you not only face penalties for your BAC results, but also the penalties for refusing a test.
As a driver, you may not have been aware of these strict breathalyzer refusal rules, leaving you in a difficult situation. Your DUI lawyer will work with you to lower the penalties you face due to your refusal, so you don’t face such harsh penalties.
How Can a Boise DUI Impact My Future?
When you’re facing a Boise DUI conviction, it may be tempting to accept the charges, face the penalties, and move on. You may think you don’t have grounds to fight it, but facing the charges will make the situation stop. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
When you’re convicted of a Boise DUI, the conviction goes on your criminal record. That record can be seen by anyone performing a background check on you. Those background checks can impact the quality of your life, leading to you losing opportunities that may be vital to your future.
That means many aspects of your life will be impacted. You may be denied jobs, housing, and loans because of your Boise DUI conviction. If you’re pursuing higher education, a DUI conviction can lead to punishments at your university or harm your chances of being accepted into universities for undergraduate or graduate degrees.
Your ex may use your criminal record against you in child custody cases. You may even face high insurance premiums, or they may simply drop your coverage. You may also suffer consequences at work, and if your job requires driving, you may lose your job entirely. You may also struggle to get to work with a suspended license, and you may face stigma and shame due to your DUI charge.
These impacts you may face can impact every aspect of your life if you accept a conviction. That’s why your Boise DUI defense lawyer is here to help you avoid a conviction from the beginning.
Why Do I Need a Boise DUI Defense Attorney?
While some attorneys have some experience with DUI cases, having a criminal defense lawyer dedicated to serving cases like yours gives you your best chance at the strongest defense. Our job is to ensure you understand the charges in place, determine the best course of action for your circumstances, and successfully represent you in court.
We do so through a thorough period of research, case building, and personalized aid to understand your unique circumstances that help us bring our best arguments to the courtroom in order to advocate for your future.
As skilled DUI defense lawyers in Boise, we know the laws specific to our state. When you’re facing complex charges and steep penalties, you need knowledge on your side to avoid charges that will impact your life for years to come. You also need a lawyer with a long record of success defending the rights of other clients facing DUIs. When you work with us, you can trust us to bring our tried-and-true successful strategies to fight for your future too.
Skilled attorneys who focus on handling DUI cases know what to look for as weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Your Boise DUI attorney will investigate the details of your case to ensure your rights were upheld. We look for possible illegal stops without probable cause, incorrectly given sobriety tests, and defective breath testing devices.
Get a Strong Legal Defense from a Boise DUI Attorney
There are many details that need to be considered in a Boise DUI charge and in creating a successful DUI defense. Was this a lawful stop with probable cause? Was testing conducted properly with functional equipment? Is the documentation thorough, accurate, and complete? Our trusted legal team is here to investigate the answers to these questions and more.
Don’t believe the myths that you cannot be held liable if your blood alcohol level is under 0.08 percent, that you have to be actually driving your vehicle, or that if you are able to pass a field sobriety test you are free and clear. There are many nuances to DUI law, and we’re here to ensure you have a strong advocate in your defense.
If you are facing DUI charges, connect with a Boise DUI lawyer from Trilogy Law Group and defend your case. We will look for weaknesses in the prosecution and tirelessly advocate for you. When you choose our skilled legal team to represent you, you can count on start-to-finish support and dedicated attention to defending your rights.
We know it’s tough to fight a DUI alone, and we believe you shouldn’t have to worry about your future when something goes wrong. We’ll fight for your future in the courtroom and advocate for your best outcome using our extensive experience and honed skills. If you’re ready to move forward and fight for your future, we’re here to help.
Connect with us today by calling 208-968-9060 or completing the online form below.
Boise DUI FAQ
Struggling to get answers about your DUI case? Reach out for help from an attorney. In the meantime, check out some of our most commonly-asked questions about DUI cases and how we can help.
What is blood alcohol concentration (BAC)?
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the concentration of alcohol within your blood, which can be used to determine whether or not you’re driving under the influence. It’s most commonly measured with a breathalyzer test, but can be measured using a blood test as well, which is shown to be more accurate.
Are there reasons a breathalyzer test may be wrong?
The results from a breathalyzer can be higher or lower than a blood test result if breathalyzer machines are malfunctioning, aging, or not being used properly by the officer administering the test.
Results can also inflate for other reasons, like how recently you’ve used mouthwash. As your DUI lawyer develops your case, they can identify whether the accuracy of your BAC is in question and if that’s an angle that can be pursued to build your most powerful case.
What’s the BAC threshold for different types of drivers?
The BAC threshold depends on the unique circumstances of the driver and the vehicle they’re operating. For drivers over 21, the standard limit is 0.08 percent. However, if that driver is operating a commercial vehicle, that limit drops to 0.04 percent.
For school bus drivers, there’s an even stricter limit. Any BAC over 0.00 will be punished with a DUI. The same applies to drivers under 21. Drivers under 21 found to be driving under the influence with a BAC over 0.00 will lose their license automatically.
Is a DUI a felony or a misdemeanor?
Depending on the details of your case, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony charges are more serious and often carry more severe penalties, like longer jail sentences and higher fines. Felonies can also have a stronger impact on your criminal record in the eyes of future job prospects.
Often, first and second DUI offenses are treated as misdemeanors, while third DUI offenses and higher are treated as felonies. However, if you injure or kill anyone while driving under the influence, it may be charged as a felony instead. Felony charges may apply if your BAC is significantly over the limit, such as 0.16 percent.
If I’m facing a DUI charge, is my license suspended immediately?
With a DUI charge, you face several penalties: fees, license suspension, and even jail time. While you will not serve a jail sentence or owe a fee until after the verdict of your case has been determined, your license will be suspended immediately.
Driving is viewed as a privilege instead of a right, and if the state of Idaho determines you to be an unsafe driver due to a DUI charge, your license will be suspended immediately. Remember, your DUI lawyer is here to help you through this and will fight hard to get the charge dismissed or the penalties lowered, including your license suspension when they can.
If I attend an alcohol rehabilitation program, will that help my case?
If you’re facing a DUI charge and you decide to attend a rehabilitation program or join an alcohol support group, this can have an impact on how a judge views your case. One core argument your lawyer will be making to defend your rights and advocate for lesser penalties is that you’ve taken accountability for the situation and you’ve taken steps to prevent it from happening again.
Alcohol rehabilitation programs aren’t required unless they’ve been court-ordered, but steps like these can be a sign to a judge or jury that you’re working on addressing the charge on your own, and you’re less likely to commit the offense again in the future.