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Idaho DUI Charges

In Idaho, it is illegal to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol. This means that if law enforcement has reason to believe that you are driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, you will be charged with a DUI.

We work personally with each and every client to develop the best possible defense for that individual client. We will listen to everything that you have to say about your case and provide you with an honest evaluation of the case against you. We are there for our clients through every step of the process and will fight to obtain the best possible outcome: Every client, every time.

What is Driving Under the Influence? 

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a crime in Idaho usually defined as driving while your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or any combination thereof. A DUI conviction requires two critical elements: 1. Actual physical control of a motor vehicle, and 2. The individual is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any intoxicating substance (impaired). 

Idaho DUI laws are more complex than most people realize. While many people are aware that the blood alcohol limit in Idaho is .08 - meaning anything over this level is considered legally impaired - they do not realize that a BAC reading over this level this is only one method of proving an Idaho DUI charge. The laws related to a DUI charge can be found in Idaho Code §18-8004.

Categories of DUI in Idaho and Potential Penalties

The State of Idaho has variety of charges can be filed related to intoxicated or impaired driving, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, with different requirements and penalties. It is important to understand the difference between these charges when proceeding in your case.

DUI First Offense

While many people think that a first time DUI is "not that big of a deal" this could not be further from the truth. A first offense DUI in Idaho is a serious offense. Do not try to handle these cases on your own. A conviction can result in severe and lasting consequences.

DUI Second Offense

Pursuant to Idaho law if you are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for a second time within 10 years, you are facing enhanced penalties. Although still considered a misdemeanor offense, a second DUI conviction in Idaho comes with mandatory jail time, an increase in fines, a year long loss of your driver's license, and many other possible penalties.

Felony DUI - Third Or Subsequent Offense

In Idaho a DUI can be charged as a felony in several circumstances:

  • A third DUI conviction within 10 years.  
  • A DUI within 15 years of a previous Felony DUI.
  • A second Excessive DUI  within five years.

A felony DUI and can result in a prison sentence. Additionally, it carries up to a five year driver's license suspension.


First Offense

Second Offense

Third Offense





Jail / Imprisonment

Up to 6 months in the county jail.

10 day minimum jail sentence. Up to 1 year in the county jail.

30 day minimum sentence. Up to 10 years in state prison.


Up to $1000.

Up to $2000.

Up to $5000.

License Suspension

90 day minimum suspension and up to 180 days. The first 30 days of any ordered suspension will be absolute (no driving at all). After 30 days, the defendant may apply for a limited driving privileges.

Required 1 year absolute suspension (no driving at all). 

Minimum suspension of 1 year (absolute) and up to 5 years. 

Excessive DUI

An excessive DUI is an enhanced criminal offense in Idaho DUI cases when someone's BAC is above a .20. This is a more serious offense than a "standard DUI" and results in significantly enhanced penalties. A conviction for your first Excessive DUI in Idaho is a misdemeanor but a second within five-years may result in felony DUI charges.

Aggravated DUI

18-8006.  AGGRAVATED DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS OR ANY OTHER INTOXICATING SUBSTANCES. (1) Any person causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to any person other than himself in committing a violation of the provisions of section 18-8004(1)(a) or (1)(c), Idaho Code (Alcohol DUI or Drug DUI).

While there are several circumstance that can lead to an Idaho Aggravated DUI under this definition, three scenarios are by far the most common. Far and away the most common Aggravated DUI charges result from car accidents caused by an intoxicated driver that cause serious injury or death to another driver. Another possibility that could potentially result in an Aggravated DUI is that an intoxicated driver causes the serious injury or death to a passenger in their car. Last, of the common circumstances leading to an Aggravated DUI charge in Idaho is when an intoxicated driver causes the death or serious injury to a pedestrian or cyclist.

Drug, Prescription Medication, or Other Intoxicant DUI

Like alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medications can result in impaired driving. As such, the driver can be charged with DUI. These cases are especially unique and require a skilled DUI attorneys attention.

Commercial Driver DUI

Commercial drivers in Idaho have different rules they must abide by when it comes to DUIs and different, more strict, penalties when they are found to be in violation of these rules.

Juvenile "Under 21" DUI

When under the age of 21 years old, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over .02 in Idaho. The penalties for minors who break this law can be as serious and long-lasting as those for adults convicted of Driving Under the Influence.

For more information on potential penalties for a DUI conviction, see: Idaho Code §18-8005 - Penalties.

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Idaho DUI Defenses

The unique details of your case, and an Idaho DUI Lawyer who knows how to exploit them, could mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal or reduction of the charges. A knowledgeable Idaho criminal defense attorney can identify constitutional infractions and possible defenses in your case. We work to protect your rights and fight against unfair or illegal convictions.


Unlike many other types of crimes, Idaho DUI charges are largely based on the arresting officer's opinions and observations. The officer uses his or her judgment to decide to pull you over or subject you to a sobriety test. These observations and opinions do not necessarily tell the story the officer thinks they do. Let a criminal defense attorney help you tell the story from your perspective.

Even if a BAC reading is taken, a failed breath or blood test doesn't necessarily equal a DUI conviction. Our lawyers have the experience, skill, and knowledge to challenge the legitimacy of such tests and the reliability of the results. We will use our expertise to demonstrate that the results were improperly obtained, there was a problem with the testing machinery itself, or the results were unfairly manipulated.

Blog Article: 10 Things About Idaho DUI Law You Did Not Know.

Experienced Boise DUI Attorneys

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No two Idaho DUI cases are exactly alike. The strength and weakness of your case will depend on the particular facts and circumstances. No DUI case is hopeless. In order to minimize the impact on your life, your reputation, and your freedom you should discuss your case with an experienced Idaho DUI lawyer.

Boise Felony DUI Lawyers | Canyon County Felony DUI Lawyers

As experienced Idaho DUI Lawyers, we represent DUI clients across the state. However, many of our clients are in the Ada County and Canyon County areas. We have vast experience in these counties and we use that expertise to represent our client's interests. If you are looking for an experienced Ada County DUI attorney or Canyon County DUI attorney, let us help you. 

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Contact us to discuss your Idaho DUI. We will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and give you an honest, straightforward, assessment of your DUI case. Consultations are free.

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We are committed to providing every client with the respect and compassion they deserve. We work one-on-one with our clients to provide them with the best possible defense. Let us help you. Boise DUI AttorneysBoise Criminal Defense

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Each case is unique. The strength and weakness of your case will depend on the particular facts of your case. Contact us to discuss your Criminal Defense or DUI case. We will explain the process and give you an honest assessment of the case.

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