We’ve all heard it since we were youngsters in school, “Don’t Drink and Drive.” Yet for one reason or another, some of us will make that decision to drink and drive. At that moment when you see the flashing red and blue lights behind you, it dawns on you that you made the wrong decision. The next thought is, how am I going to get out of this?
The short answer is unless there is a compelling reason that you shouldn’t have been arrested for DUI, you probably won’t get “out of it,” but with the help of an attorney you can have the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Here is what you need to know and can expect through this process.
THE FIRST STEP – 7 DAY DEADLINE
If you took the blow test and failed, the first thing you need to do is put in a request for an Administrative License Suspension hearing (ALS). You only have seven (7) days from the date of the arrest to make this request. If you don’t know what to do or how to do that, we can help. If you fail to make your request in time, then you forfeit your right to contest the ALS license suspension, and it won’t matter the outcome of the court decision, the suspension becomes automatic. This suspension also requires you to install an ignition interlock on all vehicles operated by you. Don’t miss your opportunity to fight for your driving privileges. The next thing you need to do is hire an attorney to help you navigate this process.
If you refused the blow test of were unable to complete the blow test that the process is similar, you just need to make a request of the court for a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) hearing. As in the ALS request, you have only seven (7) days to make the request. The outcome can be the same as with an ALS hearing, except the BAC suspension is for one year with no restricted privileges allowed.
The potential penalties set forth in the Idaho Code provide for maximum penalties for a first time non-excessive DUI (blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.20) of up to six months in jail, a one thousand dollar fine, up to six (6) months absolute suspension with a mandatory minimum of thirty (30) days absolute suspension, followed by sixty (60) days with a restricted license. After the suspension period, the installation of a state-approved ignition interlock system at your own expense on all vehicles operated by you for one (1) year. Further, you may have up to two years of supervised probation with a requirement to obtain an alcohol evaluation and complete the recommended treatment. Penalties for Excessive DUI, Commercial Vehicle DUI, and second or third offense DUI are more severe and should be discussed in detail.
This all sounds overwhelming I’m sure, but a competent attorney in this area of law will be able to help you through the process and potentially even mitigate some of the consequences depending on the particulars of your case. Some of the things that can help minimize the consequences may depend on the actions of the officer, a problem with the testing equipment, or a problem within the court system. It will take a well-versed attorney in this area of the law to know what to look for that may give you an advantage in the courts.
I cannot say it enough, just DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE; take a cab or Uber. It’ll cost you less than legal fees. It’s not just the legal hot water you will find yourself, but worse is the consequence that making such an ill-advised decision could result in your death or that of someone else. But when we are drinking, we sometimes don’t make the best decision. If you find yourself dealing with a DUI, give me a call.