Boise DUI Attorney Brian Donesley • 37 Years Experience
I can help you with:
- Reckless Driving
- Driving and Traffic Offenses
- Drivers License Hearings and Appeals
If You Are Pulled Over
In Idaho, if you are pulled over driving a vehicle, you may be stopped by the police based upon probable cause to suspect that you are driving while intoxicated, such as swerving, lane changes without signaling, erratic driving, or based upon any other violation like a broken tail light or windshield. Or, you may be charged with DUI even if the officer did not see you driving, there is no eye witness to your driving a vehicle, so long as you are in actual, physical control of the vehicle, which means in the driver seat, engine running or not.
The officer will talk to you, notice that your breath may smell of alcohol and how strong, look at your eyes for bloodshot, ask you if you have been drinking, to which the usual answer is “a couple.” You may be asked to do a “gaze nystagmus” test in which the officer shines a light into your eyes, has you look as far to the right and left as possible and sees when your gaze stops being constant, rather loses its constancy. This physiological response indicates intoxication at some angle, supposedly. Then comes the “field sobriety tests.” You have seen these many times most likely on television or possibly as a witness in real life. Heel to toe, finger to nose, stand on one leg, walk a line or do the alphabet or count backwards. These are check off boxes on the police report which are numerically rated by the officer by point factoring. If it adds up, this is further evidence against you. Keep in mind that officers are trained with standardized procedures. And, they become very efficient. If there is “probable cause” to believe you drove intoxicated, before or after a breath test is offered to you in the back seat of the police car, you may be arrested, taken to jail and booked.
If You Refuse BAC test
If you refuse to take a blood alcohol test (BAC test), you will lose your license for a year with no restricted license privileges. If your “blood alcohol content” (BAC) comes back 0.08 percent by volume, there arises a “legal presumption” that you are intoxicated, which means that no other evidence is necessary to charge or to convict you, unless a jury finds otherwise at trial. Any BAC over 0.20 is an Excessive DUI with more harsh penalties. A second DUI raises the penalties. A third in 10 years is a felony, which typically results in a prison sentence. Drivers license suspensions are mandatory for long periods of time, though in some circumstances one may be given “restricted license privileges” for medical, treatment or to and from work purposes.
In some counties there are the “Drug Court” or “DUI Court,” which allow a person who has admitted been adjudicated to go through an intensive program with the Court for more than a year and obtain a restricted license after completing a first phase of the program. This is a serious commitment to complete the program, but it results in real benefits. The terms of sentencing are suspended during the program, a “withheld judgment” may be entered by the Court, rather than a judgment of conviction, and you may be released from the sentence previously imposed for fines and jail time.