DUI Do’s And Don’ts

DO know the common reasons (besides weaving and swerving) that Idaho police officers give for pulling people over:

  • Wide Turn: Failing to turn into the nearest proper lane when making a turn onto a street with multiple lanes.
  • Obstructed Plates: Having license plate covers, trailer hitches, or other items block from view one or more letters or registration stickers on your license plate.
  • Failing to Yield to a Police Officer: When a police officer is pulled over to the side of the road with flashing lights, make sure that you slow down and move over (if possible) before passing the officer.
  • Loud Exhaust: If the noise is close to the line, an officer can pull you over, even if your exhaust noise turns out to be within limits.
  • No Mud Flaps: If your truck is required to have them, put them on.
  • No Front Plate: Unlike other states, Idaho requires that each vehicle have both a rear AND front license plate (and no, showing your license plate through your windshield does not count)
  • Failing to come to a complete stop when pulling out of a parking lot onto a street: There may not be a stop sign posted, but Idaho law requires you to stop anyway.

DO know common times and places Idaho police officers search for possible drunk drivers:

  • Driving at Night: While officers always try to be aware of drunk drivers, enforcement picks up between 9 PM and 5 AM Tuesdays through Saturdays.
  • Parking Near Places Where Alcohol is Served: Officers can and do follow people driving away from parking areas near places where alcohol is served. An officer often will follow them and pull them over if they make a minor traffic violation.

DON’T volunteer information, try to make small talk, or argue with an officer if you are pulled over:

  • Whether the officer is mean or nice to you, the officer is looking for information from you to use against you.
    Making small talk with officers to try to get on their good sides will not result in them cutting you a break; you may, however, unknowingly give them information that can be used in court against you.
  • Arguing is worse: Even if the officer is violating your rights, arguing with them is not going to stop him from doing it. Instead, immediately assert your right to remain silent, ask to speak with an attorney, and tell your attorney as soon as possible what happened.

DON’T feel like you must answer the officer’s questions or perform field sobriety tests:

  • You are required to tell the officer your name and give him your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you are asked to get out of the car, you are required to do that as well.
  • BUT: You are NOT required to perform field sobriety tests, you do NOT have to tell the officer where you are coming from, where you are going to, or how much you have had to drink. You have the right to remain silent. Use it.

DO blow into the breath machine if the officer asks you to, but know that you DO have a choice:

  • If you choose not to blow, you face the possibility of having your driver’s license suspended for either one or two years.
  • If you choose not to blow, officers may draw your blood without your permission and without a warrant.
    On the bright side, breath tests are often less accurate than blood tests and may be easier to challenge in court.

DO contact an attorney as soon as possible, even if you haven’t been booked into jail or received a ticket:

  • If your rights have been violated, an attorney can help you avoid as much permanent damage as possible
    For instance, you may have only 7 days from your arrest to contest your driver’s license suspension.

Contact A Boise DUI Attorney

To speak with a DUI defense lawyer, contact Minert Law Office in Boise, Idaho. To schedule your free consultation, call 208-991-3394 or contact us by e-mail. Please give us a call. We can help!