The Idaho Supreme Court has eliminated inattentive driving as a conviction option for juries dealing with drunken driving charges.
In a unanimous opinion issued on Monday, the high court held that Kootenai County Magistrate Robert Burton was right when he refused to give jurors the option of convicting Gregory Curtis of inattentive driving during his 1993 trial for misdemeanor drunken driving.
Justice Charles McDevitt, writing for the court, said that to qualify as a lesser crime an offense must have the circumstances that would be required to be convicted of the original charge.
In the case of drunken driving, the only requirement for conviction is proof that a person was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs - typically by blood-alcohol content.
Inattentive driving involves operating a motor vehicle in a careless manner.
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