Idaho Criminal Defense and DUI Defense Blog

Punishments for Reckless and Inattentive Driving

Posted by Christi Schofield | Jul 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Reckless Driving | Inattentive Driving

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor, not an infraction. Any person can be cited for reckless driving for: (1) driving carelessly or without undue caution and at a speed or in a manner likely to endanger any person or property or (2) passing when there is a line in his or her lane indicating a sight distance restriction (i.e., a double line indicating no passing). See Idaho Code 49-1401(1). If witnessed by an officer, you can be arrested for this crime.

A first-time conviction comes with the following punishment:

  • Up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 fine
  • Mandatory 30-day license suspension
  • 4 points added to Idaho driving record

A subsequent conviction comes with increased punishments:

  • Up to 1 year in jail and/or $2,000 fine
  • Mandatory 30-day license suspension if last conviction was over 2 years ago
  • Mandatory 90-day license suspension if second conviction is within 2 years of first conviction
  • Mandatory 1-year license suspension if third conviction is within 3 years of first conviction
  • 4 points added to Idaho driving record

Inattentive Driving

Although inattentive driving is technically considered a "lesser" offense than reckless driving, it is still a misdemeanor. Any person can be cited for inattentive driving for driving in a manner that is careless or imprudent. This offense is very broad and encompasses a wide range of behavior, including colliding with another car, swerving while changing the radio station, driving too fast, etc. Similar to reckless driving, you can also be arrested for inattentive driving if witnessed by law enforcement.

A conviction comes with the following punishment:

  • Up to 90 days in jail and/or $300 fine
  • 3 points added to Idaho driving record

Do not simply plead guilty to these crimes. The consequences of either conviction can be severe and long-term, especially if your career involves driving. Call us today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Christi Schofield

Christi represents clients in a wide range of criminal law matters in the Treasure Valley and surrounding areas


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