DUI & DWI in Idaho

Thousands of people lose their lives every year in alcohol-related accidents on U.S. highways. And as the problem continues to grow, the laws concerning drinking and driving will continue to become more strict.

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

Once the blood absorbs the alcohol and it flows throughout your body, your brain will enter a state of relaxation. If you are consuming alcohol faster than your body is processing it (one drink per hour of either a mixed drink made with one shot of liquor, a five-ounce glass of wine, or a 12-ounce beer) the parts of your brain that typically keep you in check while you are sober will ease up. The result is impaired judgment and the loss of control of your inhibitions.

Saturating your blood with alcohol can also affect your vision, reaction time, coordination, and balance. It's also not uncommon to experience a change in mood.

If you have consumed too much alcohol, the only thing that will sober you up is time. You can try taking a cold shower or drinking some coffee, but they won't dissolve the effects of being intoxicated.

Drinking and Driving

Just don't do it. Once alcohol has become a part of your good time, driving should not. Your judgment may be impaired and you may not realize how intoxicated you really have become.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) inches above 0.05%, your driving skills are already decreasing.

While studies show that the highest number of alcohol-related accidents were the result of a beer binge, wine and liquor are just as likely to give you that dangerous buzz before driving.

Don't think you are getting away with driving while intoxicated for long if it is common practice for you. Police officers can easily pick up on a driver who shouldn't be behind the wheel. Here's how:

  • The alcohol has given you a false sense of confidence, and you think you can handle putting the pedal to the metal. Speeding is a quick tip off.
  • Your brain is swimming in alcohol; therefore you can't focus on the road and you have less control of your motor skills than normal. This causes you to drive erratically, causing the vehicle to weave.
  • You know you should not be behind the wheel, but you are driving regardless. You are actually driving slower than normal because you are over-cautious in your current condition.
  • Short mental lapses cause you to jerk the wheel or punch the gas pedal, causing your car to stroll down the road in a jerky motion.
  • The alcohol has slowed your reaction time and also affected your sense of depth perception. You make abrupt stops at traffic lights and stop signs, instead of easing your way to a smooth halt.

DUI in Idaho

The State if Idaho considers you Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if you fall under one of these three circumstances:

  • Your BAC is 0.02% or more if you are younger than 21 years old.
  • Your BAC is 0.04% or more and you are operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Your BAC is 0.08% or more and you are 21 years old or older. You can still be charged with DUI even if your BAC is less than 0.08% if you are under the influence of some other intoxicating substance(s).

Penalties for DUI in Idaho

Not only can the courts punish you for breaking criminal laws by driving under the influence, but the Transportation Department can as well. Administrative laws (civil laws) allow the DOT to suspend your license and levy other penalties against you for DUI and for refusing s test. 

As of 2019, anyone who is convicted of a DUI—even a first offense—is required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle after their driver's license suspension period is over. How long you are required to have an IID depends on the circumstances of your DUI.

DUI 1st Offense:

Administrative Penalties

  • Mandatory suspension of your driver's license for at least 90 days.
    • No restricted license for the first 30 days.
  • Driver's license reinstatement minimum fee of $25 to $285.
  • Provide Financial Responsibility for 3 years (SR 22).

Criminal Penalties

  • 6 months in jail.
  • Up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Driver's license suspension of 90 to 180 days.

DUI 2nd Offense:

Administrative Penalties

  • Mandatory suspension of your driver's license for 1 year.
    • No restricted license if 2nd offense within 5 years.
  • Driver's license reinstatement of $25 to $285.
  • Provide Financial Responsibility for 3 years (SR 22).

Criminal Penalties

  • A mandatory jail sentence of 10 days to 1 year.
  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Suspension of your driver's license for 1 year.
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device.

DUI 3rd Offense:

Administrative Penalties

  • Mandatory suspension of your driver's license for 1 year.
  • Driver's license reinstatement of $25 to $285.
  • Provide Financial Responsibility for 3 years (SR 22).

Criminal Penalties

  • A felony conviction.
  • Mandatory jail time from 30 days to 10 years.
  • Up to $5,000.
  • Suspension of your license for 1 to 5 years.
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device.

Refusing a Test

Refusing a test carries penalties of its own in Idaho. If you refuse a test you will be given an order of suspension. You do have the right to request a hearing, in writing, within 7 days. If you do not appear at the hearing or the hearing does not go in your favor, you will have to pay the $250 fine, your driver's license will be suspended for 1 year, and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device put on your vehicle.

If you refuse a test for a second time you will pay another $250 fine and you will lose your license for 2 years. On a second refusal you have no option for a restricted license.

DUI Under 21 in Idaho

Idaho takes DUI very seriously and especially so for drivers under 21 years old. A 1st offense will get you a fine by the court of $1,000 and your license suspended for 1 year. For the first 90 days of the suspension you have no chance of a restricted driver's license. You will be required to take an alcohol evaluation as well. Those who are minors will lose their license until they turn 21 years old under administrative penalties.

If you are caught driving under the influence, you might wish to consult a DUI attorney to help you with your case and defend you in court.

Reinstating You License

In order to reinstate your license you will need to satisfy all of the court requirements and then:

  • Fill out a Reinstatement application (Form ITD 3786).
  • Pay your license reinstatement fee: $25 to $285.
  • Show proof of financial responsibility (Usually SR22 carried for minimum 3 years).

You may also pay your reinstatement fee online.

For more information please contact the Transportation Department in Boise at (208) 334-8736.


ITD 3786
Reinstatement Application
Use this form to request reinstatement of your Idaho driver's license and pay the necessary reinstatement fee.
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