If you live in the Gem State or plan on visiting sometime soon, it’s a good idea to be aware of the local drug and alcohol laws. What counts as a DUI? What’s the legal status of marijuana? And what kind of penalties exist for breaking the law? Read on for information about substance abuse laws in Idaho.

DUI Laws in Idaho

In Idaho, over 10,000 drivers are arrested for DUIs on an annual basis. Between 2003 and 2012, 712 people died in the state due to alcohol-related crashes.

As is the case in other states, it is not legal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. At this level, a person might not appear to be drunk but their reflexes are slower. The BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%.

After consuming a single drink, waiting a few hours before driving can return the BAC to 0.00%. But avoiding any alcohol consumption before driving is optimal.

It’s also worth noting that driving under the influence (DUI) laws apply to drugs as well. Driving in an impaired state is dangerous and is a criminal offense.

Zero Tolerance Laws for Idaho

In Idaho, anyone under the age of 21 has to stick to a BAC below 0.02%. This level is easily reached – all it takes is one drink.

A zero tolerance policy is in effect throughout the U.S. In many states, if an officer can smell alcohol on the breath of an underage driver, they can be charged with a DUI even if their BAC is .00%.

Is Cannabis Legal in Idaho?

Marijuana is illegal in Idaho for both recreational purposes and medicinal use. The state has some of the strictest cannabis laws in the country. And it’s an outlier amongst its immediate neighbors.

Only CBD products produced from seeds and mature stalks of the cannabis plant are allowed for consumption. And these products must contain zero THC.

Other Substance-Related Crimes in Idaho

The following activities are considered criminal where illegal drugs are concerned:

  • Possession and use
  • Cultivation and manufacturing
  • Selling/distributing
  • Transporting/importing

With alcohol, it’s unlawful to drink or have an open beverage container in a vehicle on a public road. This applies to drivers and passengers, but the penalty is more severe for the former. Alcohol should be placed in the trunk or behind the last seat. Paying passengers in buses and limousines are exempt from this law.

Penalties for Alcohol or Drug Abuse in Idaho

DUI Penalties in Idaho

First-time offenders face the following consequences:

  • Misdemeanor charges with the potential of up to 6 months in jail.
  • Fines can reach up to $1000.
  • Offenders face a three to six month license suspension.
  • There are enhanced penalties for having a BAC of 0.2% or more.
  • If you refuse to do a breathalyzer or other test, there’s a $250 fine and a 1-year license suspension.
  • Depending on the results of a drug and alcohol evaluation, a judge may order treatment for substance abuse.

Further convictions incur worse penalties. They involve bigger fines, compulsory jail time and at least a year of license suspension. Vehicle confiscation is possible. Further charges also include mandatory ignition interlock devices. If the device detects alcohol, the driver’s car does not start. A third DUI within a ten-year span is a felony.

Zero Tolerance Penalties in Idaho

First-time underage offenders with a BAC less than 0.08% face these penalties:

  • A one-year license suspension
  • A fine of up to $1000

Cannabis Penalties in Idaho

These are the penalties for marijuana-related activity:

  • Possessing less than three ounces of marijuana means up to $1000 in fines and/or up to a year in jail.
  • Possessing more than three ounces is a felony with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
  • Selling marijuana incurs up to five years jail time and a $15,000 fine.
  • For possession and sale, further convictions incur double the penalty.
  • Trafficking more than 100 pounds of the substance can result in 15 years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Please note that while we strive to provide updated information, the legal environment is dynamic. Consult with a local lawyer before making decisions that could lead to drug or alcohol charges.

Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Idaho

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is hope. We highly recommend seeking treatment. Health professionals can assist you to get back on your feet, starting with a supervised detox. Treatment also includes therapy which is essential for understanding and avoiding triggers.

Getting help doesn’t have to be more difficult than getting drugs. Accessing a program can set you up for a lifetime of sobriety. Contact a rehab treatment center near you to discuss the best options to suit your needs. It’s the first step towards a more healthy and happy you.


  1. Idaho Marijuana Laws – FindLaw. (2020)
  2. What YOU Should Know about Idaho’sDUI Laws (Undated)
  3. Cannabidiol (CBD). (2019)

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