Felony DUI case has expensive light at end of tunnel

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The man accused of destroying the U.S. 95 traffic light at the intersection of Kathleen Avenue will appear in First District Court Friday for a preliminary hearing on a felony drunk driving charge.

Regardless of how his criminal case pans out, David Clos could be paying the state a substantial amount of money for a very long time.

According to police, Clos, 42, wrapped his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck around one of the signal posts earlier this month, resulting in a damaged post and a nonfunctioning signal on the major north and south highway that sees as many as 35,000 cars daily.

Police said no one was seriously injured in the crash, and that Clos’s BAC registered .210 and .211 — almost three times the legal limit to drive when he was arrested for felony DUI.

But Clos’s troubles might not end in criminal court because the transportation department plans to seek restitution for at least $500,000.

“The (Idaho Transportation Department) is going to seek money for damages,” department spokesperson Megan Sausser said.

Idaho requires motorists to have a minimal amount of motor vehicle insurance that includes a $15,000 property damage liability.

If Clos had the cheapest policy, he could be required to pay off the balance, which will likely be more than the baseline half million dollars, Sausser said. Additional costs could include the cost of building the temporary traffic system at the intersection, plus costs associated with emergency repairs that occurred over the weekend. Those include traffic control and traffic safety devices.

“There are significant costs associated with getting that (going),” Sausser said.

Traffic detection devices will be in place by the end of the week, Sausser said, that will better regulate lights at the intersection. Right now the lights are on a timer, but radar is being installed, she said.

Clos, who has an excessive DUI on his record, was charged with felony DUI in this case because the latest charge was also an excessive DUI, which makes it a felony under Idaho law. He is in jail on a $60,000 bond.

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