Boise’s Best DUI Attorneys

Boise’s Best DUI Attorneys




JW Bond and Ryan Black, Attorneys of Idaho

Experienced DUI Defense Team!

Some attorneys take the easy way out, obtaining standard deals without turning over every rock to make sure you get the best outcome possible. Not us. We are the best because at Attorneys of Idaho, we fight every case and never take shortcuts. Look at our perfect 5-star rating on Google or ask anyone in the legal community. If you want the best possible outcome at a great value, there’s no better choice.

Learn More About DUI in Idaho!

Fair warning: the following information is dense and could possibly set off a “snooze fest”. That said, if you are interested in DUI law for any reason, it could all be very helpful for you.

A DUI charge, like any criminal charge, has what is called an adversarial process. This is a fancy way of saying it is you versus the State of Idaho. The prosecutor’s office of each county or city, depending on the jurisdiction, is tasked with representing the State of Idaho. It is the role of the prosecutor assigned to your case to try and make sure you get the harshest possible punishment. It is your responsibility, or if you are smart, your attorney’s, to advocate for the least possible penalty. The better arguments you or your attorney can make on your behalf, the less you will be penalized. It is that simple.

When fighting in this adversarial process, there are two main categories of arguments one can make. The first are legal arguments: arguments that you did not violate the law or that the police officers involved in your case did not follow proper protocol. The second are arguments for leniency: arguments that even though the prosecution may be able to prove you are guilty, that your case or situation or background is such that you should be shown leniency.

Argument That You Did Not Violate DUI Law

DUI can be a difficult charge for the prosecution to prove due to the complexity of each case. As an officer, I arrested hundreds of DUI offenders, and I can tell you from firsthand knowledge that there are numerous steps involved in handling a DUI case; this leads to complacency and mistakes. The breakdown of an officer’s duties are as follows:

  • The Stop: Police officers must have at least reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop. Most common in DUI cases, the officer will initiate a traffic stop for a driver’s “failure to maintain lane.” However, I have challenged numerous cases where officers did not meet this criterion. For instance, where the officer was staked outside of a bar and simply initiating stops on a hunch that the driver was intoxicated.
  • Physical Control Of The Vehicle: Idaho law states that it is illegal to be under the influence of alcohol while in “actual physical control” of a vehicle. To prove this element, the evidence must show that the driver was in the driver’s seat, with the motor running or with the vehicle moving.
  • Initial interrogation: After the officer conducts a lawful stop, he/she must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated before he/she may remove the driver from the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. The officer will attempt to collect proof of intoxication at the initial interrogation at the driver’s window. The officer looks for common indicators of intoxication: slurred speech, bloodshot or watery eyes, odor of alcohol, confusion and forgetfulness. Most common, the officer will simply ask the driver if he/she has been drinking. A driver’s admission of drinking any amount of alcohol at all is enough suspicion for the officer to pull the driver from the vehicle and proceed to field sobriety tests.
  • Field Sobriety Tests: Idaho has certified three roadside tests for making a preliminary determination if a driver is intoxicated:
    • The Walk and Turn: The officer will instruct the driver to complete nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, pivot on one foot, and complete nine more heel-to-toe steps back on the same line. Mistakes such as stepping off line, using arms for balance, and miscounting steps are considered clues of intoxication. Only two clues of intoxication are necessary for the officer to make a determination that the driver failed this test.
    • The One Leg Stand: The officer will instruct the driver to keep his/hers hands to his/hers sides, lift either foot six inches off the ground, and count in his/hers head to 30 seconds. Mistakes such as touching the elevated foot to the ground, swaying, lifting arms for balance, or miscounting are considered clues of intoxication. Again, only two clues of intoxication are necessary for the officer to make a determination that the driver failed this test.
    • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test: Horizontal gaze nystagmus is an involuntary jerking of the eyeball which occurs as the eyes gaze to the side. Under normal circumstances, nystagmus occurs when the eyes are rotated at high peripheral angles. However, when a person is impaired by alcohol, nystagmus is exaggerated and may occur at lesser angles. An alcohol impaired person will also often have difficulty smoothly tracking a moving object. In the HGN test, the officer observes the eyes of a suspect as the suspect follows a slowly moving object such as a finger, pen, or small flashlight, horizontally with his/hers eyes. The examiner looks for three indicators of impairment in each eye: if the eye cannot follow a moving object smoothly, if jerking is distinct and sustained nystagmus when the eye is at maximum deviation, or if the angle of onset of jerking is prior to 45 degrees of center. The subject is likely to have a BAC of 0.08 or greater if, between the two eyes, four or more clues appear. A 1998, validation study found that this test allows proper classification of approximately 88 percent of subjects.

After completing these three field sobriety tests, the officer will determine whether in totality of the circumstances he/she believes there is probable cause the driver is impaired. Even if the driver fails only one of the three tests, the officer could still find probable cause to arrest as long a she/she has other evidence of intoxication, for example: blood shot watery eyes, slurred speech, smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, or particularly bad driving. If so, the officer will then place the driver under arrest.

  • Reading of your rights: Upon arrest, the officer will then inform the driver of their Miranda rights and Implied Consent rights.

Miranda rights: after arrest and before asking any further questions, the officer must inform the driver of their rights when answering those questions. Otherwise, the prosecution is not allowed to use any of the driver’s responses against them to prove their guilt in court.

Implied Consent rights: after arrest and before an officer can use a breathalyzer or take the driver’s blood, he/she must read the driver their rights to refuse testing under Idaho law. Idaho Code 18-8002 essentially states that if you are suspected of driving drunk, you are required to submit to the testing of your breath or blood for alcohol. If you refuse, then Idaho may impose civil penalties for your refusal. 1. A $250 fine. 2. Complete suspension of your driver’s license for a full year. 3. For the first year you get your license back, you must install and use an ignition Interlock system on your car. Additionally, even if you do refuse the testing of your blood or breath, the officer can still apply for a blood-draw warrant which, if granted, would allow him to strap you down while a nurse forcibly takes your blood.

  • Breathalyzer: Prior to administering a test of the driver’s breath, the officer must conduct a 15-minute observation period. During this time, the officer watches to make sure the driver does not belch or throw-up, so that he/she may ensure that mouth-alcohol does not affect the accuracy of the test. Upon a successful first blow, the officer must wait and observe the driver for an additional 2 minutes before collecting a second breath sample. Most commonly, the Lifeloc FC20 series or Draeger 9510 models are used in southern Idaho. The breathalyzer itself must be certified, routinely maintained, and performance verified within 24 hours of each breath test. The officer performing the breath test must also be certified to use the machine.
  • Blood Draw: A majority of the blood-alcohol tests are performed by breathalyzer. However, the State is able to prove your blood-alcohol content by blood test. Blood can only be drawn by a licensed phlebotomist and must be stored properly with 10 milligrams of sodium fluoride per cubic centimeter of blood plus an appropriate anticoagulant before being refrigerated.
  • Rising Blood Alcohol Defense: In cases where a significant time passes between the time the driver is pulled over and later tested (hours after), the defendant may be able to argue they were under the legal limit of .08 while they were driving but because their BAC was still rising, they later tested above the legal limit. A thorough defense will include the hiring of a toxicologist to conduct a retrograde extrapolation.

In conclusion, this is a list of the extensive things that must be done to prove DUI, and as such, can be used to argue innocence or leniency:

  • Officer must stop you for an appropriate reason
  • Must be evidence that you were drinking and physically operating a vehicle
  • Officer must observe indicators of intoxication or get you to admit to having a drink in order to pull you out of the car to perform field sobriety tests
  • Officer must perform all 3 field sobriety tests correctly
  • You must fail at least one of the field sobriety tests with other indicators of intoxication in order for officer to make arrest
  • Officer must read you Miranda Rights before interrogation after arrest
  • Officer must read Implied Consent Rights before administering breathalyzer
  • Officer must conduct 15-minute observation period to make sure you don’t burp or vomit before breathalyzer
  • Officer must be certified to use breathalyzer
  • Breathalyzer must be certified and record of regular maintenance
  • Breathalyzer must be independently performance verified to be accurate within 24-hours of your breath test
  • If blood was drawn, officer and nurse must follow proper procedure and rules for chain of custody
  • Testing must be done timely to prove you were drunk at the time you were driving

Arguments of Leniency 

Many DUI arguments lean this way, because there is often overwhelming evidence to support the prosecution’s case. Arguments of leniency are supported by the following:

  • Past Record: If this is your first offense and you have no other criminal history, this makes your argument for leniency easier. Essentially, your attorney will argue that you have a been a good member of society up until now and we have no reason to think this was not a one-time mistake. The court normally does not seek maximum punishments for productive members of society.
  • Low BAC: The average blood-alcohol content for DUI cases is between .12-.14. If you are below .12, arguments for leniency are much stronger.
  • Good Driving Behavior: Were you driving particularly reckless before being pulled over, or did the officer get you for a petty offense such as inoperable license plate light? Good driving behavior can be argued in your favor for leniency.
  • No Accident: Was there an accident? Did anyone get injured? This goes along with the argument for good driving behavior. A good attorney will highlight the fact that no accident occurred and other than the slight impairment, you were driving safely.
  • Behavior Between Arrest And Court Date: If you have proven that you can be a law-abiding citizen between the time of your arrest and when you’re are tried, the court is more likely to be lenient.
  • Seek Treatment Ahead Of Time: Every DUI case requires the Defendant to obtain some form of substance abuse treatment. The court will order you to obtain the advice of a counselor with a formal evaluation and then follow the recommendations of that evaluation. You can impress the judge by doing all of this ahead of time, before the Judge has a chance to order it.
  • Respectful Behavior: The role of human judgement cannot be overstated. After all, the judge deciding your sentencing is human. Being respectful to the arresting officer and all members of the court can often go a long way to helping your case.

While these are some common arguments for leniency, every case is different, and a good lawyer will know how to use these arguments and others within your unique situation to get you the best outcome possible.

The materials at this web site have been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. These materials do not, and are not, intended to constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The information provided at this site is subject to change without notice.

One of the most common questions I am asked is “what happens if I am convicted of a DUI” or some form of that question. If you search the internet for Boise, Idaho DUI penalties, you are likely to find a rash of information explaining maximum penalties that almost never actually happen. While I would never advocate for driving drunk or tell you that DUI penalties are no big deal, I also don’t think it is right to spread fear-mongering misnomers about the subject. Below is some more practical knowledge.

While you will likely not be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law unless you have a bad attorney, it is worth taking a look at what the maximum penalties are as a starting point.

DUI Penalties 

Maximum 1st DUI offense penalties

  • Six months jail time, unless your blood alcohol level is above .20%. That carries a maximum sentence of one year.
  • A fine of up to $1,000 unless your blood alcohol is over .20%. That carries a maximum fine of $2,000.

As you can see, DUI carries some pretty harsh maximum penalties. The penalties for second, third and beyond offenses increase significantly. However, a good lawyer can sometimes get you cleared of charges and often greatly reduce these penalties. For instance, it is not uncommon for first time offenders to only be sentenced to probation. People with good attorneys rarely get maximum penalties.

What To Actually Expect For A First-Time DUI Offense 

The court can and may punish you in many ways: jail time, Sheriff’s labor detail, community service, substance abuse counseling, fines, court costs, driver’s license suspension, and probation. How much of each of these depends on how good of a defense you can present.

  • Jail: Generally, for a first time DUI the court will sentence you to between 90-180 days of jail, but then suspend all but 5-10 days, placing you on probation. So, in reality you will only have to do between 5-10 total days of jail, and the rest is suspended and held over your head for the duration of your probation to make sure that you stay out of trouble. Ordinarily, the judge will allow sentencing alternatives like Sheriff’s labor detail or community service to substitute for actual jail. Eight hours of community service is counted as one day of jail. You also get credit for the time you serve when you were arrested. Even if you bail out after a few hours, this may count as 1 or 2 days of credit (if you were booked before midnight and released after).
  • Probation: probation usually ranges between 1-2 years and unless there are aggravating circumstances, the probation will be unsupervised. This means you will not have a probation officer. You are simply ordered by the court to stay out of trouble during the probationary period, otherwise you could face the suspended penalties.
  • Fine: Ordinarily it is between $500-$1,000 plus court costs of $202.50. See here for more info on the real cost of a DUI.
  • Substance abuse counseling: For any DUI conviction, the court will require you to get a Substance Abuse Evaluation from a licensed Substance Abuse Counselor to determine the amount of treatment that is necessary in your situation. Generally, the court will order 16 hours of counseling for a first time DUI, as well as require you to attend a 2-hour Victim’s Impact Panel.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: The court will order a suspension of your driver’s license which is in addition to the license suspension that is initiated by the DMV. On a first-time DUI the ADA and Canyon County courts will usually suspend your license for 6 months, allowing for a restricted license to drive to and from work only after 30 days of absolute suspension has been served.

DUI is a serious crime that carries some serious penalties. But if you have been accused of one, you can exhale a bit. It is very unlikely that you will prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, especially if you hire a knowledgeable attorney.

The materials at this web site have been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. These materials do not, and are not, intended to constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The information provided at this site is subject to change without notice.

What is the real cost of a DUI in Idaho? Starting in high school, I have continually heard the rumor that a DUI costs $10,000. However, as I have grown in experience, I’ve found that this is not a very good estimate. While there are many factors that contribute to a DUI’s total cost, I will try and break down the numbers to give you a better average number:

  • Bail ($0-$110) – The first step in any case is to get released from the custody of the jail. Typically, on a DUI, the judge will set bond at $500. You can post the full amount yourself, and then you will receive the entire amount back when your case is complete. Otherwise, you may use a bail bondsman. The bondsman will charge a fee of 10% of the total bond plus posting fees of between $25-$60. So, in the end, the total cost of getting out of jail on a $500 bond is $0 if you post it yourself, or $75-$110 if you use a bondsman.

*Pro tip: The larger bond companies will usually give you the lowest rate. During a recent survey I conducted, $75 was the lowest, through Angie’s Bail Bonds.

  • Private Attorney ($2,000-$10,000) – Attorney’s fees may vary substantially depending on which attorney you choose and the particular facts of your case. Don’t believe the hype that a good DUI attorney costs tens of thousands of dollars.

*Pro tip: DUI attorneys offer free consultations. Shop around for the most knowledgeable one. Do not assume more expensive gets you better representation. Some attorneys will charge retainer fees of $5,000 or more that do not even cover the cost of trial. Look for a good attorney who offers a flat fee.

  • Court Fine ($500-$1,000) – The most common court fine for DUI is $750. However, if your case has particularly mitigating evidence or you have arguments for leniency, your attorney may argue a lesser fine, typically $500. Conversely, if your case has aggravating factors such as a particularly high blood alcohol content, substantial prior record, or a child was in the car with you, the court may require that you pay a higher fine, typically $1,000.
  • Court Costs ($202.50) – In every DUI case, the court will impose $202.50 in total court costs.

*Pro tip: Court costs may be waived by the court if you have a particular financial hardship.

  • License Reinstatement($530)  For DUI convictions, you will receive two separate suspensions of your driver’s license: one from the DMV and one from the court. Since this is considered two separate suspensions, the Idaho Transportation Department requires that you pay two separate reinstatement fees: $245 for reinstatement after a DMV suspension and $285 for reinstatement after a court suspension.
  • SR22 insurance ($360-$900) – After a conviction for DUI, the Idaho Transportation Department requires that you are covered by a high-risk insurance policy (SR22) for a period of 3 years. My previous clients have reported that they had to pay between $10-$25 per month for SR22 insurance. This monthly fee multiplied over 36 months totals $360-$900.
  • Insurance Rate Increase ($540) – The average cost of car insurance is approximately $600 per year. My clients have reported an increase to their insurance rates by about 30% for a 3-year period for a total 3-year cost of $540.
  • Alcohol Evaluation ($90-$200) – The court will require you to get an alcohol evaluation. Certified GAIN evaluators in Idaho charge between $90-$200 for such an evaluation.

*Pro tip: The cheapest evaluator is Ambitions of Idaho who offers numerous locations across Treasure Valley.

  • Alcohol Treatment ($200-$320) – The court will order you to complete whichever amount of treatment is recommended from the evaluation. Barring aggravating circumstances such as a high blood-alcohol content or signs of dependency or addiction, you will be recommended to complete an ASAM .5 Early Intervention level of care. Depending on the provider, this class will cost you between $200-$320.

*Pro tip: Only one provider allows for treatment to be done online at

  • Victim Impact Panel ($43) – In addition to alcohol treatment, the court will require you to attend a 2-hour victim impact panel. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving hosts the panel regularly for an admittance fee of $43.

*Pro tip: if you purchase the online counseling from they add the online Victim Impact Panel for free.

  • Ignition Interlock ($1,035) – New 2019 Idaho law requires anyone who has been convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for the first year of driving after suspension. In Idaho, there are 8 total providers of this service. Each of them are very comparable in price when adding up the installation cost, monthly fee, and removal cost.

*Pro tip: Freeman Monitoring Services in Nampa offers free installation of a Draeger machine if you have it installed at their shop.

Adding all of this up puts the total cost between $5,000.50 – $14,880. However, if you bail out with Angie’s Bail Bonds, hire a knowledgeable attorney like Ryan Black, obtain an evaluation at Ambitions of Idaho, and complete your counseling online at Tom Wilson Counseling, this mistake will set you back a total of $6,960.50. Not exactly a drop in the bucket but nowhere near $10,000, either.

This isn’t meant to encourage people to drink and drive, but to give people more accurate information. It is also worth noting that a DUI can have other negative impacts, such as loss of employment in certain fields that require driving. That said, if you find yourself suspected of DUI, take a deep breath, clean up your act, and realize that your life isn’t over. In fact, your outlook is probably much better than you realize.

The materials at this web site have been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. These materials do not, and are not, intended to constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The information provided at this site is subject to change without notice.

The best thing you can do to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive. Drinking and driving is not only dangerous for you, it puts the lives of those around you in jeopardy. You simply should not do it. But I am not your parents, and sometimes we are suspected of things that are not our fault, so here is some advice on what to do if you’re suspected of DUI.

Step 1 – Respect The Police Officer

If you have been pulled over and are suspected of driving under the influence, the first thing to remember is that police officers are – generally speaking – trying to keep the public safe. Be respectful of the job they do and treat them well. Not only is this the right thing to do, it can go a long way to helping you out down the line. Being a jerk will only persuade an officer to take actions that will negatively impact you.

Step 2 – Do Not Incriminate Yourself

Officers are trained to get you to admit to as much incriminating information as they can. Again, this is just them trying to do their very important job. However, just because they ask doesn’t mean you have to answer. Rather than saying “I have only had a few”, it is much better to say “my lawyer told me to not answer that question”. The police officer will likely push harder, and possibly even detain you, but remember, it is your right – and to your benefit – to remain silent in that situation.

Another way you can incriminate yourself is a field sobriety test. These are incredibly subjective, yet they are a great tool for law enforcement to collect evidence against you. You are under no legal obligation to submit to a field sobriety test. If you are asked to, you can refuse. However, refusal of a field sobriety test can count toward probable cause for the arrest. Once arrested, the officer will attempt to use a breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol content. You may also refuse this breathalyzer; however, the officer will likely then obtain a telephonic warrant to forcibly take your blood. Refusing a breathalyzer may also result in the mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for a year. So, whether or not to submit to a field sobriety test or breathalyzer is tricky. It may prevent the officer from obtaining valuable evidence against you, but it may also result in serious unintended consequences. One must use their best judgement if in this situation.

Step 3 – Write Down The Details Of Your Arrest

If you are reading this page, this is likely the stage you are at. Don’t panic. As long as you learn from any mistakes you may have made and take the proper precautions to mitigate the repercussions, your life is not ruined.

If you have not done it already, one very useful thing you can do is try to remember all the details about your arrest. Where were pulled over? Were you read your Miranda rights? How long had it been since you stopped drinking? The more you can accurately remember, the better chance your attorney can mitigate the penalties.

Step 4 – Bail Out

It does not do you any good to remain in jail. The judge and prosecutor will be more lenient if you can prove to them that you will get treatment and stay out of trouble while out on bail. Every day that you are out not breaking any more laws shows to the court that you may be rehabilitated.

Step 5 – Get Treatment

For every DUI Conviction in the State of Idaho, the judge will order the defendant to obtain a “substance abuse evaluation.” This evaluation takes into account historical and environmental factors of your life to determine how much counseling or other forms of treatment may be necessary. After an interview, the evaluator will draft a report containing treatment recommendations. If you would like to really impress the prosecutor and the Judge, you can get the evaluation and recommended treatment done ahead of time, even before the court orders it.

Step 6 – Hire a Lawyer

I promise you that this is not on here as step 5 just because I am trying to get your business. Finding a good lawyer who understands local DUI law and is willing to put in hard work is probably the most important thing you can do to mitigate harsh punishments. These are some of the things to think about when hiring an attorney:

  • Are they local? There are some major benefits to hiring a local attorney. Good local attorneys will have a good rapport with officers and judges, which is a major benefit to you.
  • Hire an attorney who has handled multiple DUI cases. Lawyers often specialize in specific types of law. An attorney may be excellent at handling divorce cases but have very little knowledge when it comes to criminal cases like DUI. This is your future we are talking about here. Make sure you trust it with someone who has done this before.
  • Meet the attorney in person for a free consultation. It is important that you get along with and trust your attorney, and a free, in-person consultation is one of the best ways to asses this.

If you are ever suspected of DUI, or if you already find yourself suspected, follow as many of these steps as you can to give yourself the best outcome possible. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

The materials at this web site have been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. These materials do not, and are not, intended to constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. The information provided at this site is subject to change without notice.

Free Initial Consultation

Still unsure if we’re the right option? No worries. Give us a call at (208) 314-8888 to set up a free consultation. We’ll take a look at your case and tell you what we think your best options are. If that includes hiring us, great. If not, we’ll use our extensive knowledge of the legal community to set you up with an attorney who gives you the best chance to win.