Idaho has strict penalties for a DUI conviction, and it is important that you understand the potential penalties you face if are arrested on a DUI charge.
Although the best way to avoid a DUI charge is to never drive after having any amount of alcohol, many of us are used to having a glass of wine at dinner, or a couple of beers at a sporting event or with friends, and then driving home.
The legal BAC limits for DUI in Idaho
After all, the legal alcohol limit isn’t zero, right? While that is correct, and the law does not probit you from driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, the legal blood alcohol content for Idaho drivers is 0.08% and 0.02% percent for drivers under 21.
However, alcohol affects everyone differently, meaning that glass of wine with dinner could make it unsafe for you to drive, even if you are under the legal limit. This means that you could still find yourself pulled over and facing a DUI charge.
Police officers are trained to spot drivers that appear to be driving under the influence. Swerving between lanes, speeding, slow response times or making wide, careening turns are all signs that a driver might be impaired.
Regular and enhanced DUI penalties
A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor; however, you could still face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and a driver’s license suspension. The penalties only get higher with each subsequent conviction within 10 years, with a third conviction being a felony.
There are enhanced penalties if you are found to have had a higher level of alcohol in your blood.
A blood alcohol level of 0.20% or higher could result in jail for up to a year, a fine up of to $2,000 and a required driver’s license suspension for one year after release from jail. A second conviction with an enhanced penalty could land you up to five years in an Idaho state prison.
You cannot afford all the consequences of a DUI conviction
It should be clear that even the penalties for a first non-enhanced are enough to do major damage to many areas of your life.
The fines and costs of defending yourself can quickly add up, and spending time in jail could cause you to lose your job.
There are also many non-legal penalties you may not initially consider. A DUI conviction means that you have a criminal record for the rest of your life.
This means that your career and reputation could be ruined. A criminal conviction could cost you job opportunities and your family and friends may view you differently. You may also feel shame and embarrassment, feeling as if everyone thinks of you as an alcoholic.
Exploring all possible defenses to a DUI charge
These are all reasons that putting on a strong criminal defense is important. Talking to a criminal defense attorney can help you determine if any of your constitutional rights were violated, or if there are any other potential defenses available to you.