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I Got a DUI in Idaho – Now What?

I Got a DUI in Idaho – Now What?

“…we want to remind anyone who might think about getting behind the wheel after drinking that real lives are at stake, and that it is just not worth the risk of killing someone else or yourself.” ~Idaho State Police Sgt. Rich Adamson If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in the State of Idaho, the bad news is you are not alone. According to a report published in the USA Today, Idaho is the third-most dangerous state in America for drunken driving. Idaho also ranked #5 in the nation for the number of DUI arrests. The further bad news is that a DUI in Idaho is serious – depending on what happens next, your finances, your future, and perhaps even your freedom can be affected. The good news is this – maybe your arrest can serve as a wake-up call. If you never drive impaired again, the life you save just might be your own or that of someone you love.

Statistics about DUIs in Idaho

The USA Today article was based upon statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the FBI. Some of the sobering statistics are:

  • There were almost 12,000 DUI arrest in Idaho in 2015.
  • For comparison, Kentucky has a population that is two and half times that of Idaho’s, but it only had 20% of the total DUI arrests.
  • Nearly 30% of all traffic deaths in Idaho are due to impaired driving.
  • Drunk driving in Idaho cost taxpayers $278 million in 2015.

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What Kind of Penalties Can I Receive for My Idaho DUI?

In the State of Idaho, you can face both civil and criminal penalties for operating a motor vehicle when you are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Criminally, the Court can put you in jail and impose stiff fines. Civilly, the Idaho Department of Transportation can take away your driver’s license and levy other penalties.

  • If this is your FIRST DUI
    • Fine –Up to $1000
    • Jail time –up to 6 months
    • Suspension of your license for 90-180 days (Mandatory)
    • 30–day wait for a “restricted” license
    • Reinstatement fee to get your license back– up to $285
    • Statement of Financial Responsibility(SR-22) requirement – 3 years
  • If this is your SECOND DUI –
    • Fine – up to $2000
    • Jail time – MINIMUM 10 days, up to ONE YEAR
    • Ignition Interlock Device (Mandatory)
    • Suspension of your license for ONE YEAR (Mandatory)
    • NO “restricted license” if this is your second offense within 5 years
    • Reinstatement fee to get your license back –up to $285
    • Statement of Financial Responsibility (SR-22) requirement– 3 years
  • If this is your THIRD (or more) DUI –
    • This is a FELONY conviction if you had two previous DUI convictions within the past 10 years.
    • Fine –up to $5000
    • Jail time–MINIMUM 30 days, up to 5 YEARS
    • Ignition Interlock Device (Mandatory)
    • Suspension of your license for AT LEAST ONE YEAR (Mandatory), up to 5 years
    • Reinstatement fee to get your license back –up to $285
    • Statement of Financial Responsibility (SR-22) requirement – 3 years
  • If You Refuse a BAC Test–
    • Suspension of your license for ONE YEAR (Mandatory)
    • To appeal the suspension, you must submit a written request for a hearing within 7 days.
    • If the appeal is denied, you will pay a $250 fine and the suspension is upheld.
    • Subsequent refusals result in more $250 fines and a suspension of your driving privileges for 2 years.
  • If You Get a DUI in Idaho and You Are under 21 Years of Age –
    • Fine –$1000
    • Suspension of your license for ONE YEAR
    • 90-day wait for a “restricted license”
    • If you are under 18, you will lose your license until you turn 21×400.jpg

What Other Costs are there for Getting a DUI in Idaho?

Getting a DUI in Idaho will cost you far more than just fines and reinstatement fees. By the time you are through, you will have paid:

  • Bail and court costs – $175
  • Lawyer’s fees–First-time offenders who plead guilty – $500-$2500
  • Repeat offenders who plead guilty – $1000-$5000
  • DUI cases that actually go to trial $2500-$25,000
  • Alcohol evaluation, court-ordered –$100
  • Alcohol education program, court-ordered– up to $2000.
  • Ignition interlock device, court-ordered– up to $1300
  • Your insurance rates will rise up to 81%, or more than $600 per year.

That means that if you are first-time offender who pleads guilty to avoid a trial, you could still wind up paying more than $7500 for a DUI conviction in Idaho. If you are facing any other charges related to the DUI – an accident, possession of illegal drugs or paraphernalia, or if you have injured or killed someone, the consequences and the financial costs of drunk driving in Idaho can skyrocket. Being arrested and/or convicted of a DUI in Idaho can negatively impact every area of your life. For example, if you are an underage college student, you could lose your scholarship. If you have or are applying for a job in the public eye or that requires a background check, you could be disqualified.

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Steps to Take After You Get a DUI

Did you know that there are 1.5 million people in the United States who get DUIs every year? For many of them, it is their very first time, and perhaps you have found yourself in the same situation. You may not know exactly what to do after you get arrested, and that is OK. This information can help you take the proper steps.

Keep Detailed Records

You never know what you might need to remember, and as time goes on, the details of what happened can fade in your memory. That is why you should write everything down as soon as you can. You will want to record:

  • Where and when you were pulled over.
  • The names of the sobriety tests the police had you do.
  • Any information about what you told the officer, or what they said to you.
  • Any and all details about the incident.
  • Anything that stuck out in your mind as being unusual about the situation.

It might seem unnecessary, but you may write something down that you will need later when your case goes to court.

Contact an Attorney

Unless you are a lawyer, you probably have no idea what the DUI laws and penalties are for your state. You need a qualified and experienced attorney on your side, even if you make the decision to plead guilty. With a lawyer working with you on your case, you may be able to get a minimal sentence. This is especially true if this is your first offense. Plus, an attorney will be able to explain all of your options to you in a way that will help you understand exactly what to expect.

Change the Privacy on Your Social Media Accounts

If you are like most people, you probably have lots of information about yourself on your social media accounts. That is not something you want to make accessible to the world. The state will be working hard to make a case against you, and you do not need to give them any ammunition in the process.

Go to Court and Accept the Sentence

When it is all said and done, you want to make sure you make your court date and accept the sentence that is handed down by the judge. If it is your first offense, you may get an easier sentence, but keep in mind that is not always the case. Many states are cracking down hard on driving under the influence. That is another reason why it is important to go to court with an attorney on your side. alcohol abuse

Is There a Connection Between DUIs and Alcoholism?

Research has shown that there could very well be a correlation between DUIs and alcoholism. Of course, not everyone who gets a DUI has a drinking problem; especially if it is their first one. But it does happen. Once someone has started to get multiple DUI’s, it is a cause for concern. But there are other ways you can tell if you need to consider getting help for alcoholism as well.

How do You Know if You Need Treatment?

There are several signs you can look for in your own life that will help you know if you should consider getting treatment. They include:

  • Your friends and family are worried about you because of your drinking.
  • You have had either verbal or physical altercations after you have been drinking.
  • You have broken the law after drinking (for example: getting a DUI).
  • You drink because you feel like you have to in order to feel like yourself.
  • When you drink, you always do so excessively, and you frequently lose control.
  • You are having relationship problems because of alcohol.
  • You are not as productive at work, or you call off a lot because of your drinking.
  • You make bad decisions because of alcohol.
  • You keep your drinking a secret from your loved ones.

Even if you only identify with one or two of these, you might still have a drinking problem that needs to be treated. You can get more information about your personal situation by taking advantage of our free addiction assessment, or by taking an alcohol addiction quiz.

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Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Recovery

If you find out that you are truly an alcoholic, the best way to address the problem is through treatment. You should seriously consider going through alcohol rehab so that you can get the help you need to recover. Most people do not realize that alcoholism is a disease, and it is not something that is going to go away on its own. In many cases, recovering from alcoholism requires addressing both the physical and the psychological parts of the addiction. Otherwise, the person is not likely to recover at all, and will probably go back to drinking eventually.

Alcohol Detox

Alcohol detox is a process that helps the body adjust once a person has stopped drinking. There are various types of treatment that can be used to rid the body of harmful toxins that are related to excessive alcohol consumption. Medical detox is often used for people with alcohol addictions. This type of treatment involves giving medications to help them through withdrawal. The right combination of medications can lessen the severity of symptoms and provide a better chance for a successful recovery. Many treatment programs are starting to recommend that their patients begin taking Vivitrol for alcohol addiction. This is a medication that is given once a month by injection. When it is used in combination with a counseling program, it is very effective.

Alcohol Rehab

Once you have gone through detox – which can take a week or two – it will be time to move on to alcohol rehab. This form of treatment relies upon different types of therapy, such as individual and group therapy. Both are essential parts of the recovery process. Your therapist will work with you to find out if you suffer from a co-occurring disorder. Many people actually drink because it helps them cope with symptoms of a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression. By treating that root cause, the person has a much better chance of being successful long-term.


Unfortunately, once a person has gone through detox and rehab, there is more work to be done. So many people assume that their addictions will be cured after their treatment program is over. That simply is not true because there is no way to cure an addiction. Alcoholism has a way of gripping your life and taking control. It takes much more than a 28-day rehab stay in order to heal. That is why aftercare is such a vital part of the entire process. You will be given follow up appointments, and it is so important for you to keep them. They may include going to an IOP, working with an outpatient therapist, or attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. No matter what the recommendation is, you should follow it because it will only continue to give you more power over alcoholism.

Help is Available to Assist With Recovery and Getting You Back on Your Feet

At Northpoint Recovery, we want you to know that we are here to help. Getting a DUI can be a life-changing experience, but ultimately, it can be the very thing that changes your life for the better. Do you have questions about DUIs, what to expect, or our services? Please contact us today.