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What the heck is a "Per Se" DUI?

Posted by William Young | Jun 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you are arrested for drunk driving in Idaho you could be facing one of two Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges: a Per Se violation or a non-Per Se violation. This article is meant to help you differentiate between the two.

"Per Se" Violation

"Per Se" is just Latin for "in and of itself" (I know, the use of Latin does not make the law "user friendly" when no one speaks Latin any more). A Per Se DUI is the operating of a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or higher. This is the BAC set by the legislature to equal intoxication. Thus, a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher is "in and of itself" driving under the influence, whether they appear intoxicated or not.

This does not make your case hopeless, an experience DUI attorney will know many ways to defend against a "Per Se" DUI violation.

Non-"Per Se" Violation

This is also called a "DUI Less Safe" charge. It slightly differs from the DUI Per Se charge in that an arrest is made based on the opinion of the officer rather than a BAC. If the officer determines that a driver is intoxicated based on their behavior and/or driving pattern, the driver is charged with a DUI can be charged with DUI whether or not their BAC is above the .08 legal limit.

Most of the time a "DUI Less Safe" charge is easier to defend because the State can not use quantitative evidence to prove you were intoxicated, they must base their case on the officer's judgment and opinion.

While your chances of fighting the two charges may be different, they carry the same penalties if convicted.

See: Idaho Code §18-8004: Persons Under The Influence Of Alcohol or Drugs.

About the Author

William Young

Idaho Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation Attorney. Although I do a little bit of everything in my practice, I focus primarily on Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation. I am licensed to practice, and have a record of success, in both state and federal court.

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