People get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Idaho every day. Most of the time, if they didn’t cause a crash, those drivers will face misdemeanor charges. However, Idaho law does allow for felony DUI charges in specific situations.
If the circumstances of your arrest meet certain criteria, you will likely face a felony DUI charge with enhanced penalties instead of a standard misdemeanor DUI. When does a DUI potentially turn into a felony in Idaho?
For repeat offenders
Those arrested multiple times for impaired driving could face felony charges as a result. Once you have two prior DUI convictions on your record from within the last 10 years, any future DUI will likely be a felony.
Sometimes, even a second DUI could be a felony. If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.20% or higher, you will face additional penalties for the excessive BAC at the time of your arrest. A second high-BAC DUI arrest within five years of the first will typically lead to felony charges.
For those who injure or kill others
Idaho prosecutors can charge someone with a felony offense if they cause a crash due to impaired driving. If a DUI-related wreck caused disfigurement or great bodily harm to someone else, the impaired driver could face aggravated DUI charges. If a drunk driver causes a death, they will likely face a felony vehicular manslaughter charge rather than just a DUI.
Felony DUIs can mean between five and 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Understanding when you might face a felony DUI charge can help you plan to better defend yourself.