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The following article was written by Stephanie Larson.  She can be reached at stephanielarson44@hotmail.com

Idaho is unique when it comes to determining the cost of a speeding ticket. The Idaho Supreme Court has a fixed amount for speeding based on how fast you were driving over the speed limit. This means that you will pay the same amount for speeding in Boise as you will in Idaho Falls.

  • For 1 to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, you are looking at a fine of $47
  • For drivers who are ticketed at 21 miles per hour or more, you will be fined $102

Are there any extra penalties? You better believe it. If you are ticked in a construction zone, plan on an additional $50. If you are ticketed in a school zone, you’ll pay a minimum of $116.50 including the court fees and fines.

What are the typical Idaho speed limits?

As a general rule, you always follow the posted signs to know how fast (the maximum) that you should be driving. As a general rule, you can use this as a guide:

  • 35 miles per hour in residential or business areas
  • 65 miles per hour on state highways
  • 75 miles per hour on interstate highways

Of course, you can also be ticketed for driving too fast for conditions. If it is rainy or snowy, take that into consideration for your own safety as well as the possibility of being ticketed if you are driving faster than an office might feel is safe.

How does the Idaho point system work?

When you receive a driving citation, you will receive a certain amount of points towards your driving record. For example, if you were driving nine miles over the speed limit, you would have three points added to your driving record. For 1 to 15 miles over the speeding limit, you have 3 points added. For 16+ miles over the speeding limit, you will have four points added to your driving record.

The state has a specific set of rules based on your points and your driving privileges.

If you accumulate 12 to 17 points in a 12 month period, you will be subject to a 30-day suspension of your license. If you accumulate 18 to 23 points in a 24 month period, you will be subject to a 90-day suspension. If you accumulate 24 or more points in a 36 month period, you will receive a 6-month suspension.

In addition to these points, judges are also allowed to suspend, cancel, or revoke your license for a variety of reasons (regardless of the points on your license). Some of these items include:

  • DUI – driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Reckless driving
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Failure to carry auto insurance
  • Possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia

How can I get rid of the points on my driving record?

The state of Idaho does things a bit differently to remove points. You can take either a defensive driving course (DDC) or a traffic safety course (TSC).

  • Defensive driving course – This course can be taken by a driver to reduce their driving points. You may take this course one time every three years. When you take the course, three points will be deducted from your driving record.
  • Traffic safety course – This course can reduce your points as well. To be eligible to take this type of course, it must be offered by the officer at the time of ticketing. It is only available in certain cities that offer such a program. If you are offered the course and complete it, all the points associated with that particular traffic stop will be removed from your record.

You can take only one of the above courses in a three year period. Also, while taking either of the above courses will result in the points being taken off your driving record (as far as counting towards a suspensions goes) but the citation will still remain on your driving record.

How do I pay for my ticket?

Check the back of the actual ticket that you received. It will list the contact information and address of the court where you need to pay your ticket. If you agree with the ticket, simply contact them to pay the fine. Many courts accept payments by phone, mail, in person and some over the internet.

If you do not agree to the ticket you’ll need to contact the court (typically in person) to contest it. They will schedule you a hearing date. If you do not pay the ticket by the date on the citation or if you do not appear at the date scheduled, the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you may have your license suspended.

Do I have to appear in court?

For most tickets you do not need to appear in person. You can contact the court directly on the back of your citation to make arrangements with them to pay the ticket and/or associated fine.

I want to fight my ticket!

If you don’t agree with the ticket or think it is incorrect or unfair, you may want to have a traffic attorney to represent you. Here on BernieSez you can receive competitive bids from experienced lawyers that are on your side. You’ll upload information about your case and then local lawyers who are skilled traffic attorneys will contact you with quotes. You want someone with experience to help you right a wrong.

My license has been suspended. Now what?

If you’ve had your license suspended in Idaho, you’ll need to fill out a reinstatement application and pay a fine. The reinstatement fee is a variable fee – meaning that it changes for each person based on the reason that they had their license suspended. If you’ve had multiple infractions, you’ll also pay multiple fees. For example, in Idaho minor college students can have their driving privilege suspended if they do not attend school. This results in the lowest fee of $25. If you were charged for no insurance as well as an excessive points suspension you would pay $85 for the no insurance infraction and $25 for the points suspension.