Being charged with a DUI in Idaho Falls can be a very frightening experience. You may have gone out with some friends after work, then headed home, not thinking that the two drinks you had could result in you being over the legal limit. Idaho, like most other states, has a legal BAC limit of 0.08. Depending on your gender, weight, and other factors, two drinks could conceivably push you over the legal limit.
Now, you find yourself in the back of a police cruiser, being charged with DUI. You are, naturally, wondering what is going to happen to you. Will you go to jail? Will you lose your driver’s license? This is a time when you could benefit greatly from having a highly experienced DUI attorney who can answer your questions, aggressively defend your rights and your future, and ensure the best outcome possible.
What Are First-Time DUI Penalties?
If this is your first offense DUI and involves a BAC level of at least 0.08, but less than .20, you are facing a misdemeanor offense. If you are convicted of this offense, you could face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a driver’s license suspension of at least 90 days and up to six months. The first 30 days of this license suspension is absolute, meaning no driving at all and no work permit, after the initial 30 days you can apply to the court for a work permit for the remaining suspension. Additionally, you will have to obtain SR-22 insurance and install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles you drive.
In addition to the penalties listed above. If you take the breath test and the results are a .08 or higher, the Idaho Department of Transportation will administratively suspend your driver’s license for 90 days if this is the first administrative suspension in the last 5 years, the first 30 days are absolute, no driving or work permit, followed by 60 days in which you can request and pay for a work permit. If this is your second administrative suspension in the last 5 years, the suspension is a 1-year absolute suspension with no work permit at all. Additionally, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles your drive for a period of 1 year following the end of your driver’s license suspension. You can request a hearing to contest this suspension, but you must request a hearing within 7 days from the date of service on your Notice of Suspension. This is usually 7 days from the date you took the breath test. This is a hard deadline so do not delay in retaining an experienced DUI attorney.
This administrative suspension is a separate suspension from your criminal DUI charges. It is highly advisable that you have a knowledgeable DUI attorney with you at this hearing as well as during your criminal DUI proceedings. If you exceed your seven-day period to request a hearing, you will not have the opportunity to contest your administrative suspension.
Additionally, if you refuse to take a breath test or other evidentiary test offered, you will face a refusal penalty. The refusal penalty is a 1-year absolute suspension of your driver’s license with no work permit if this is your first refusal within the last 10 years, if this is your second refusal within the last 10 years your driver’s license will be suspended absolutely for a period of 2 years. You will be fined $250 and you will have to install an ignition interlock device on all motor vehicles you drive for a period of 1 year following the end of your driver’s license suspension. You can contest this refusal of the breath test penalty by requesting a hearing within in 7 days of your refusal to take the breath test. This is a hard deadline, so it is important to obtain an experienced DUI attorney right away and not miss this important deadline to request a hearing. These penalties for refusing to take a breath or other evidentiary tests are separate from any penalties you may receive from the court pursuant to your DUI charge.
Because the stakes are so high, having a strong DUI attorney who will zealously fight for you is essential. Being convicted of a first-time DUI could cause you to lose your current job (especially if you are sentenced to jail time) and could result in higher insurance rates for the next several years, and an inability to secure new employment—even when you are highly qualified.
Every time you apply for a new job, your potential employer can look up your criminal history, and this DUI conviction will come up. You could also face social judgment from your co-workers, friends, and relatives following an Idaho Falls DUI. Attorney John Cutler is highly experienced in DUI cases and can help those in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Rigby, St. Anthony, Rexburg, Driggs, Arco, Victor, or Island Park. John will guide you through the entire DUI process, working hard to have your charges reduced while ensuring all your questions are properly answered. Contact the Cutler Law Office, P.A. today!