This Is A Typical Idaho DUI Stop And What You Should Expect

If This Is Your First DUI Offense

A first offense typically involves, the stop, the officer smelling alcohol in the car, observing “droopy” eyes, slurred speech, questions, an arrest, booking at jail and release upon bond after at least several hours at jail. You should then hire a Idaho DUI attorney who enters a not guilty plea, requests jury trial and “discovery” for production by the state of all police reports, documents and test results. We then scrutinize the discovery for defenses, such as there having been no “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” for the traffic stop, or an uncalibrated testing device for blood alcohol, or an untrained person giving the test, or you belched or burped, or no warrant for a blood test, or a number of other possible challenges to support a “motion to suppress evidence,” which could result in a dismissal. While such results are not usually obtained, we must know for sure that nothing is missed. This takes the careful review of an experienced attorney to be sure.


If you do refuse the breath test, the refusal is used against you in court as evidence, and you face a driver’s license suspension of one year without privileges and a fine, regardless of whether or not you are convicted of the DUI. If you refuse a blood draw, a warrant can be obtained by the officer, day or night, from a judge on standby assignment by the courts. And, you would then face the one year license suspension for the refusal. The refusal triggers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) hearing and a possible suspension by the court, which is in addition to a suspension by the Idaho Transportation Department as an administrative license suspension (ALS).

If you know you are intoxicated to such a degree that your blood alcohol concentration that would show on a test may exceed 0.20, or if this is a second (enhanced penalties)or third (felony) DUI within 10 years, you might refuse a test and take your chances. The laws are crafted by the state to make the consequences of refusal very severe, and, in most cases, a refusal is not justified by a person suspected of DUI.


You do not have to drive a vehicle to be convicted. The law says that driving or being “in actual physical control,” defined as being in the “driver’s position” with the engine running or the vehicle moving gets you a DUI conviction. Of course, what is a “driver’s position”? Recently, in a case I had, the judge ruled that it means being in the driver’s seat, regardless of intention to drive or not, whether one could reach the controls, whether the seat was fully reclined or otherwise. The Idaho Supreme Court has said that intent is not required and that anything other than as a “passenger” gets you convicted. If you are in the back seat of the car asleep, unless the state can prove you were in the driver’s position with the motor running or the vehicle moving while intoxicated, you may be ok. Get a ride or call a cab.

Contact Brian Donesley Attorney At Law If You Need A Experienced Idaho DUI Lawyer

Call: 208.343.3851



This is part 2 of  FACTS OF A DUI COURT CASE IN IDAHO. The accused had to waive his right to speedy trial to give the State time to find the search warrant for the blood draw or go to trial without the evidence needed. As it turns out, in our hypothetical, the accused was not given the required rights and warnings before being offered a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC). He was never offered, nor did he refuse any test. The police policies state that the officer “should” offer a breath test and that the accused should be subject to an involuntary blood draw only after being advised of consequences of refusal (one year license suspension and a $250 fine plus the refusal used in evidence on the DUI), the test having been offered and actually refused. Despite no warning, no offer to take a breath test and no refusal (all shown in the written and recorded materials obtained from the police by these offices), the prosecutor called and told the judge that there had been a refusal and other questionable facts for probable cause. The judge appears to have signed a warrant (received in discovery from the prosecutor, with a wrong date). But, a search for the recording of the “probable cause hearing” with the judge in the early morning hours, which was supposed to be recorded by the judge and transferred to the court, was never provided by the prosecutor, despite 4 conferences with the judge and 2 court orders to produce. These offices searched the court records, reviewed all possible such recordings and confirmed that the court never received the recording. Meanwhile, the prosecutor simply told us that we could look for ourselves. This is in front of the judge on a motion to dismiss the case and for sanctions against the police and the state, including attorney fees.

This will be further supplemented for your interest as it moves forward. The purpose is to show you what a real DUI case can look like and how you need a good lawyer to represent you in what can be a life-changing experience.

Give Brian Donesley Attorney At Law Today: 208-343-3851

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