I had a question this week about driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: "Do I have to be driving to be guilty?" Survey says – NO! Idaho, like virtually every other state makes it a crime to be under the influence and to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. The statute – Idaho Code § 18-8004 does not require that you be driving, or that the car’s engine even be started. If you are in the car and intoxicated and sleeping it off with the ability to physically control the car – like having the keys – you can be convicted.
In a study released last April, the US Department of Health and Human Services estimated that last year 30 million Americans drove while intoxicated. Thirty million. That’s a serious road hazard if it is true. And the mere fact that the government has the statistic shows us why a DUI charge is so serious. If you are convicted of driving under the influence you will lose your drivers license, be fined, face time in jail, have to undergo an alcohol evaluation and go to alcohol classes and treatment if ordered. You will also have to figure out how to get to and from work without privileges and pay the costs of a fine and increased insurance. It may not be a felony (assuming you don’t have priors) but it will be expensive and a serious impediment to your future. So treat it seriously if you are charged with DUI. And avoid it – a night of drinking and driving can leave you with a serious "hangover" for a long time. Simple rule – do not drink and drive – grab a cab!