Idaho Drugged Driving

In Idaho, a person is guilty of DUI if he or she drives a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicating substances, whether upon a highway, street or bridge, or upon public or private property open to the public. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-8004(1)(a) (2010).

Affirmative Defense

The fact that the driver is or has been entitled to use such drug under the laws of this state or of any other jurisdiction shall not constitute a defense. Id. § 18-8004(7).

Implied Consent

  • A person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in this Idaho shall be deemed to have given his consent to evidentiary testing for the presence of drugs or other intoxicating substances. Id. § 18-8002(1).
  • If the driver refuses to submit to a test, the officer shall warn him of the penalties for refusing. Id. § 18-8002(3). If the driver still refuses after the warning, he shall be fined $250 and his driver’s license will be seized by the officer and suspended for one year for the first refusal and two years for the second refusal. Id. § 18-8002(4)(a)-(b), 8002A(2).
  • Such person shall not have the right to consult with an attorney before submitting to such evidentiary testing. Id. § 18-8002(2).
  • After submitting to evidentiary testing accused may, when practicable, at his or her own expense, have additional tests made by a person of his or her own choosing. Id. §18-8002(3)(f).


  • First offense (within 5-years) – incarceration for a maximum of 6-months; maximum fine of $1,000; license suspension for at least 90 days and up to 180 days. Id. § 18-8005(1).
  • Second offense (within 10 years) -incarceration for a period of 10 days to 1-year; maximum fine is $2,000; license suspension for a minimum of 1-year (the suspension period will begin upon release from jail); offender is not eligible for a restricted permit; the state may order an ignition interlock device installed on offender’s vehicle. Id. § 18-8005(4).
  • Third offense (within 10 years) felony – incarceration for a mandatory minimum 30 days and up to 5-years; maximum fine of $5,000; license suspension for a minimum of 1-year up to 5-years (suspension period will begin upon release from jail); offender is not eligible for a restricted permit; the state may order offender to install an ignition interlock on vehicle. Id. § 18-8005(6).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Idaho, sobriety checkpoints are illegal under state law.

  • The Idaho courts have ruled that roadblocks designed to deter DUI are not permissible under the state constitution when the police fail to get warrant, lack probable cause to believe a crime is being committed, or lack legislative authority to establish the roadblock. State v. Henderson, 114 Idaho 293, 756 P.2d 1057 (1988).

Case Law

U.S. v. Patzer, 277 F.3d 1080 (2002) — Police officer who stopped noticed both motorist and passenger appeared to have bloodshot and glassy eyes, and suspected the two were smoking marijuana, did not have probable cause to believe that motorist’s ability to drive was impaired, where the motorist’s driving and comportment, as described by the officer, did not evidence any impairment. Furthermore, for purpose of Idaho’s driving under the influence (DUI) statute, marijuana is a “non-narcotic drug.

State v. Thomas, 318 P.2d 592 (1957) — Whether driver, who is charged with drunken driving is influenced by liquor solely or by combination with other substances is immaterial.

State v. Lesley, 981 P.2d 748 (1999) — Evidence that defendant pulled out into roadway and then stopped in traffic lane, failed some field sobriety tests, had distinct injection marks on arm, and took urine test that revealed chemical signature for marijuana and stimulant, was sufficient to sustain conviction of DUI.