Criminal Law – DUI Defense

DUI Defense/Administrative License Suspensions/Refusals

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common criminal charges that people face in Eastern Idaho. The most common DUI occurs when a person is operating a motor vehicle while having a blood content (BAC) of .08 or higher. However, a person can also be charged for DUI in Idaho if he or she is found to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, a combination of alcohol and drugs, or any other intoxicating substance. If a person is driving a commercial vehicle he or she can be charged if his or her BAC is .04 or higher. If a person is under twenty-one years of age he or she can be charged with DUI if his or her BAC is .02 or higher. A person who has a BAC of .20 or higher can be convicted of an excessive DUI.

If a person has three DUI driving charges within the past ten years, or two excessive DUI charges he or she can be charged with a felony. A person who causes a crash due to driving while under the influence also may be charged with a felony depending on the circumstances.

If a person refuses to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test when a law enforcement officer suspects him or her of driving under the influence his or her divers license may be suspended for up to one year. If a person agrees to submit to BAC testing and his or her level is over the legal limit, his or her license will be suspended for ninety days.

What are the Different DUI Charges and what are the Penalties of Each Type of Charge?

Idaho law has multiple DUI charges on the books and different penalty structures for each charge. Below is a summary of the charges:

First Offense DUI

A person who has been charged with DUI for the first time or charged for the first time more than ten years after having been convicted. The general penalties and consequences include the following:
  • Maximum of 6 months in jail;
  • Maximum of $1,000.00 fine;
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 6 months;
  • SR-22 high risk insurance;
  • Up to two years of probation which often includes taking drug and/or alcohol evaluations and following the recommendations of those evaluations and community service.

Second Offense DUI

A person who has been charged with DUI for the second time within a ten year period. The general penalties and consequences include the following:
  • Maximum of 12 months in jail with a minimum of 10 days and 48 hours of the 10 days must be consecutive;
  • Maximum of $2,000.00 fine;
  • Mandatory driver’s license suspension of one year;
  • SR-22 high risk insurance;
  • Maximum of two years of probation which often includes taking drug and/or alcohol evaluations and following the recommendations of those evaluations.

Excessive DUI

  • Maximum of 12 months in jail with a minimum of 10 days and 48 hours of the 10 days must be consecutive;
  • Maximum of $2,000.00 fine;
  • Mandatory driver’s license suspension of one year;
  • SR-22 high risk insurance;
  • Maximum of two years of probation which often includes taking drug and/or alcohol evaluations and following the recommendations of those evaluations.

Felony DUI

  • Maximum of 10 years in prison;
  • Minimum of 30 days in jail with the first 48 hours being consecutive;
  • $5,000.00 fine;
  • Mandatory 1 year driver’s license suspension with no exceptions for things such as work privledges;
  • Mandatory SR-22 high risk insurance; and
  • Probation of up to 10 years which often includes drug court.

How Murray, Ziel, & Johnston, PLLC Can Help:

The attorneys at Murray, Ziel, & Johnston, PLLC have extensive experience with DUI law. Our attorneys have the expertise to help you defend against both the administrative license suspension and the court proceedings for the DUI. Our attorneys will help you evaluate whether there was valid reason for law enforcement to stop you and whether they conducted the DUI testing properly. Our firm has fostered relationships with some of the top defense expert witnesses and can help you evaluate whether you should hire an expert to assist you in your defense.

The cost of having a DUI on your record and losing your driver’s license are substantial. If you find yourself facing a DUI charge you can rest assured that Murray, Ziel, & Johnston, PLLC will be with you every step of the way and will fight to give you the best chance in these cases.