Driving under Influence (DUI) is a serious offense as it directly contributes to road accidents. According to a report by the Idaho Transportation Department, 1535 road crashes were caused by impaired driving in 2016 alone. These resulted in 88 fatalities and 223 serious injuries.
A DUI citation remains on your record for quite some time and without the help of a certified Boise DUI attorney, it can lead to penalties that range from mild to serious. The severity of the penalty depends on many factors such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and previous offenses.
The first offense for DUI generally carries a light penalty. The second, third and fourth offenses come with progressively harsher penalties. If the second offense happens within 5 years, it is regarded as a felony in Idaho. An important thing to consider when it comes to DUI citation is the lookback period.
What is lookback period?
The lookback period is the length of time for which a DUI citation stays on your criminal record. When a DUI citation is on your record, other stakeholders such as insurers can look it up. If you are convicted of another DUI offense during the lookback period, it counts as an additional citation.
For instance, if you are flagged for DUI within the lookback period, this counts as a second offense. If you are again found DUI before the lookback period expires, this is regarded as the third offense. The penalties for second and subsequent DUI offenses begin to compound and become more severe.
The actual lookback period varies from state to state. It may also depend upon your BAC at the time of arrest. Some states have a lifetime lookback period, which means that a DUI citation always stays on your record. Fortunately, Idaho is not among these states.
Lookback period in Idaho
The lookback period in Idaho is ten years. This is also known as the washout period. This means that if you are found DUI, the citation will stay with your record for 10 years. If you are found guilty of DUI again during this period, the violation will be counted as a second offense. Once 10 years elapse after your previous DUI citation, the state of Idaho removes the citation from your record. If you commit a new DUI offense, you will be sentenced as a first time offender.
Why is lookback period important?
The presence of a DUI on your record can create many problems for you. For a start, it immediately affects your insurance standing. If you have existing auto insurance, the DUI citation may not affect it at the time. But when your insurer revisits the policy or the renewal period arrives, you may have to pay more. The insurer can also refuse to renew the policy based on a calculation of your risk as a driver.
Similarly, when you seek a new auto insurance policy, the insurer will first look up your record. A DUI citation on your record will immediately classify you as a higher-than-average risk. The insurance company will likely ask you to pay a higher premium for your policy.
You may also face some difficulty in securing a job or finding a house with a DUI on your record. This is why the lookback period is so important. You may have to face these problems during the lookback period. Once the period expires, your insurance rating returns to normal.
How can a Boise DUI Attorney help you?
A DUI citation can be a life-changing experience. As stated above, the conviction will stay with you for nearly a decade. And it will affect many aspects of your life. This is why it is important to hire a DUI attorney after you get a conviction.
A DUI attorney reviews your case thoroughly to see if there are any lapses. For a start, a police officer is required to meet stringent requirements when arresting you for DUI. If there are any mistakes in the arrest, these can be used to counter the DUI citation you have received. Other lapses in a DUI citation may include faulty breathalyzer equipment, unwarranted stop by the officer and so on.
Our Boise DUI attorneys have many years of experience in helping people convicted of DUI. Many DUI citations are simply unfair and can be effectively countered in a court of law. However, it is important that you consult an attorney and follow informed legal advice. You should not plead guilty immediately and you may consider refusing a field sobriety test as well. These and other measures can help you minimize the fallout from a DUI citation.
The state of Idaho is a washout state. This means that your DUI citation is washed from your record after a certain period, that is, ten years. This is in contrast to states which have a lifetime lookback period for a DUI citation. However, even with a relaxed lookback period, Idaho has harsh penalties for DUI offenses. You can minimize these penalties or avoid them altogether by hiring a qualified Boise DUI attorney to defend you. If you have received a DUI citation, contact us today to have your case reviewed for free.