More changes are coming to Idaho’s drunk driving laws. Last week, Gov. Brad Little signed a bill that creates an optional diversion program for first-time DUI offenders in the state. This accompanies the new law that took effect January 1, requiring all DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device as part of regaining their license.
Optimal Diversion Program
As of this year, all DUI offenders must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle to regain driving privileges. After a DUI conviction, offenders receive a mandatory license suspension where they’re unable to drive. The length of this suspension depends on if the offender had a previous DUI and other factors.
After the suspension, offenders have restricted driving privileges where they can drive to and from work, school, medica appointments, and treatment programs. To gain restricted driving privileges, offenders must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
However, beginning on July 1, 2019, first-time DUI offenders may enter the diversion program, which also requires them to install an ignition interlock device to regain restricted driving privileges. The benefits of the program are being able to regain restricted driving privileges more quickly and a dismissal of DUI charges upon successful completion of the program. Drivers who cause an injury or fatality to another person(s) are not allowed to participate in the program.
MADD President Helen Witty commends the bill, saying, “First-time offenders who enter into the diversion program can still work, pick up their children, care for their families — as long as they provide a sober breath sample…[the bill] is, at its core, a smart, rehabilitative approach to drunk driving.”
The law also includes a provision that requires all ignition interlock devices installed in the state to have a camera. Legislators in Idaho are committed to keeping citizens safe, and the camera requirement is extra insurance that the correct person is using the device.
The camera takes pictures only at designated times. For example, the camera may take photos when attempting to start the car, upon restarting, stopping the vehicle, when prompted to provide a random sample, or when someone fails to provide a breath sample as requested. The camera will not record you the entire time you’re in the vehicle.
If you’re in Idaho and need help with an ignition interlock in your state, find information here.