When you get into an accident in Idaho, you will want an accident attorney specialist to help you through the legal process of this at-fault state. It is especially confusing, since it is also a hybrid of the at-fault system assigning blame in percentages across multiple possible defendants. Whether the accident was your fault or not, whether you were charged with DUI or reckless driving or a simple speeding ticket you will want an experienced attorney to mitigate possible consequences in Idaho.
Multiple Persons at Fault
The hybrid at-fault system that Idaho employs to settle litigation suits regarding at fault car accidents is used by only 12 states. It is considered the Modified Comparative Fault rule and is further divided into the 50 percent Bar rule, which Idaho ascribes to and the 51 percent Bar rule.
Comparative Fault states that there is a possibility for multiple parties to be at fault for a traffic accident and allows courts to ascribe percentages of fault to these parties. In a pure comparative fault state, damage recovery from a party at fault is allowed even if that party is considered to be 99 percent at fault. However in Idaho, a 50 percent Bar rule exists that states if a party is 50 percent or more at fault they are unable to recover any damages during litigation. If a party is 49 percent or less at fault they will be able to recover damages during the litigation process.
In Idaho, this recovery of damages may further be reduced by the amount of fault found for that party. For example if a party is a victim of an accident, but found partially at fault, their damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault they are allocated. An example would be if you were potentially able to avoid an accident by driving defensively but did not do so, the fault could be shared therefore lowering your claim on damages. This is one reason why car accident attorneys in Idaho are important to use.
Idaho follows the national limit for driving while impaired for alcohol. For adults over 21 years old the legal limit is 0.8%, but only 0.2% of underage drivers. Commercial drivers are limited to a BAC of 0.4%. In all cases of DUI, the charges can be laid for alcohol or other substances that could impair your driving including some medications, prescription drugs and illegal narcotics.
In Idaho DUI offenses result in criminal charges and court proceedings, but the state also allows administrative penalties by Idaho Transportation Department leading to a “double whammy” of penalties and fines, one criminal the other civil. DUI offenses are among the harshest in the US.
First offenses lead to civil license suspension of at least 90 days with a reinstatement fee of $25 to $285 and a requirement to provide a SR-22 financial responsibility statement for three years with your insurance agent. Criminal penalties include up to 6 months in jail, up to $1000 fine and a suspension of license from 30-180 das.
Second offenses for administrative penalties include license suspension for 1 year, a reinstatement fee as above and an SR-22 for three years. Criminal penalties include mandatory jail time of 10 days to a year, up to $2000 fine, and a mandatory ignition interlock device on your registered vehicle.
Third offenses include the same civil penalties as a second offense, but include felony conviction, a fine of $5000 and time in jail between 30 days up to 5 years. The penalties also include suspension of your driver’s license for up to 5 years.
Refusing a sobriety test in Idaho carries a separate penalty of a 1 year license suspension and a $250 fine. An appeal can be made for a hearing by writing within 7 days of the charge to repeal it. Second test refusals result in mandatory 2 year license suspensions and a $250 fine.
If you are charged with DUI in Idaho your best defense is provided by an attorney specializing in DUIs. This category of offense can result in severe penalties, but there are ranges of penalties that can be given.
Traffic Violation Point System
Idaho uses a moving violation point system to determine remedial actions for drivers or penalties. Point penalties are assessed from 1 to 4 points depending on moving violation. Moving violations cover a wide range of offenses from backing up unsafely to speeding or not obeying train indication lights. Speeding results in 3 or 4 points depending on the amount of overage you were assessed.
The penalties result in license suspensions. 12 to 17 points in one year result in a 30 day suspension, 18-23 points in 2 years results in a 90 day suspension and over 24 points in a 3 year period will result in a 6 month suspension. This does not include license reinstatement fees and fines for the particular infraction.
Driving in Idaho although inexpensive, insurance-wise, can be expensive if you are involved in an accident, DUI driving or multiple moving violations in a short amount of time. Protect your driving record by hiring an appropriate lawyer to protect your long term interests.