Can DUI Be Charged as a Felony in Idaho?

February 12, 2018
Most people who are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in Idaho are charged with a misdemeanor, but a minority of offenders are charged with felony DUI. There are three ways that a person can be charged with felony DUI in Idaho.

  • A second offense of DUI with a blood alcohol content of .20 within five years of a first offense can be charged as a felony.
  • A third DUI in 10 years with a BAC of .08 or above is considered a felony.
  • If serious injury is caused to another person while driving under the influence, a driver can be charged with the felony of aggravated DUI.

Sentencing on a felony DUI conviction can be much harsher than on a misdemeanor conviction. First and foremost, felony DUI is punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years in a state prison with a fine not to exceed $5,000. On the low end, a mandatory term of 30 days in jail must be served with a mandatory 48 hours to start the term. An alcohol evaluation is mandatory, and the offender is required to follow all recommendations of the evaluator and pass alcohol education classes. Attendance at a victim impact panel is part of the education program.

The License Suspension
The offender will suffer a one year mandatory driver’s license suspension. There will be no driving privileges whatsoever during that year. That suspension is to start on the first day after serving any jail or prison sentence. If driving privileges are granted after the suspension, an ignition interlock device will be required. The offender will be placed in a high risk SR-22 insurance category for a minimum of three years.

That felony conviction can follow you for the rest of your life and affect employment, educational and housing opportunities. Given the serious consequences of a felony DUI conviction in Idaho, you’ll want experienced and effective Idaho DUI Lawyer. Contact our office right away after any felony DUI charge.

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