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DUI/DWI Information for North Dakota

Driving under influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI) is an offense committed when a driver operates a vehicle after the consumption of alcohol or drugs or other intoxicants. Increased alcohol levels in the driver's blood lead to diminished mental and motor reactions which, in turn, reduce the driver's ability to control the vehicle. This significantly increases the risk of the driver committing errors of judgment and often results in accidents causing severe injuries and even death.

In North Dakota, as in the rest of the US, drunk driving is the single largest cause of motor vehicle related fatalities and accounts for an alarmingly high 40% to 50% of the total number of motor vehicle related deaths every year.

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REGULATIONS FOR DUI/DWI IN NORTH DAKOTA

In North Dakota the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is set at 0.08% for drivers over 21 years of age and it is set at 0.02% for those under 21.

Having a North Dakota license automatically provides your consent to be tested if stopped by a law enforcement officer, while driving. This is the law of "implied consent" and can be used by the officer to test you if you are stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving, either through a breathalyser test or by an actual blood test to check the BAC. Refusing to take the chemical test will result in your license being revoked for a year for the first offense, for 3 years for the second offense (in 5 years) and for 4 years for the third offense (in 5 years).

Points will be added to your driving record and your license will be suspended or revoked, if you convicted of DUI/DWI.

ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI FOR DRIVERS OVER 21:

If you are over 21 years old, and are caught with BAC higher than the set limit of 0.08%, you may be subjected to criminal actions in addition to administrative actions. If the DUI/DWI incident you are involved in is subjected to criminal action, it is recommended that you get in touch with a DUI/DWI lawyer as they are experts at handling such incidents and can offer you the best advice.

  1. The first offense may result a minimum fine of $ 250. Also, if convicted for a first offense BAC or DWI (BAC over 0.08%):
  2. Your license will be suspended for 91 days if your BAC is between 0.08 and 0.17%.
  3. If your BAC is over 0.17%, a 180 days suspension of driver's license is entailed.
  4. You may be eligible to drive using the Limited Driving Privilege after the 30 days of suspension.
  5. You may also face a compulsory alcohol evaluation.
  6. Your auto insurance will definitely increase.
  7. The second offense may result in imprisonment up to 5 days or a month of community service or a minimum fine of $ 500. Also, if convicted for the second offense of DWI, DUID or BAC:
    • Your license will be revoked for one year for BAC up to 0.17% if it is within five years of the previous offense.
    • If your BAC is over 0.17%, a 2 year suspension of driver's license is entailed.
    • You may also face a compulsory alcohol evaluation.
    • You will not be eligible to apply for a Limited Driving Privilege.
  8. The third offense may result in imprisonment for up to 60 days and/or up to a $1000 fine. Also, if convicted for the third offense of DWI, DUID or BAC:
  9. Your license will be revoked for two year for BAC up to 0.17% if it is within five years of the previous offense.
  10. If your BAC is over 0.17%, a three year suspension of driver's license is entailed.
  11. You may also face a compulsory alcohol evaluation at an addiction facility.
  12. The fourth may result in imprisonment for up to 180 days and/or up to a $1000 fine. Also, if convicted for the fourth offense of DWI, DUID or BAC:
  13. Your license will be revoked for two year for BAC up to 0.17% if it is within five years of the previous offense.
  14. If your BAC is over 0.17%, a three year suspension of driver's license is entailed.
  15. You may also face a compulsory alcohol evaluation at an addiction facility and complete the treatment and stay committed and not repeat any alcohol-related offenses for two consecutive years after treatment.
  16. The fifth offense is also considered as "class C" felony and may result in imprisonment up to five years and a fine of $ 5000.

ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI FOR DRIVERS UNDER 21

  1. Points will be added to your driving record and your license suspended or revoked, if you are convicted for "minor in possession/other alcohol offenses" (trying to purchase, possessing or having purchased any intoxicant; or being intoxicated using alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants; or having a BAC higher than 0.02%) while driving.
  2. The license may be suspended or revoked for the first or subsequent DUI.
  3. Apart from these actions, penalties mentioned above for drivers over 21, may also apply to minors if they are convicted of DUI/DWI.

ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVERS

If you drive a commercial vehicle and hold a commercial driver license (CDL):

  1. Points will be added to your driving record and you will be barred from driving a commercial vehicle for a year, if you are convicted for your BAC being higher than 0.04%. You will also be issued an "out-of-service" order valid for 24 hours by the arresting officer.
  2. Apart from these actions, penalties mentioned above for drivers over 21, may also apply to commercial drivers.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS AGAINST DUI/DWI:

North Dakota laws have administrative implications in addition to the criminal laws against DUI/DWI. An officer may arrest a driver if:

  • He/she is aged 21 and above and is driving with BAC 0.08% or more.
  • He/she is aged below 21 and is driving with BAC 0.02% or more.

If you are arrested for DUI/DWI, the arresting officer will confiscate your North Dakota driver license and issue a temporary 25-day driving permit, complete a notice of license suspension/revocation based on the nature of the offense along with a warrant, if applicable; and send the entire set to the Department of Transportation.

The driver can schedule an administrative hearing within 10 days of the notice of suspension/revocation. It is a good idea to consult a DUI/DWI lawyer beforehand. If the hearing goes against the driver, his license will be suspended or revoked based on his previous five-year driving record. The driver will have to complete the remaining period of his suspension/revocation and then file for reinstatement of the license. If the verdict goes in favour of the driver, then his license will be returned and the suspension/revocation will be cancelled.

If the driver, however, does not request a hearing, then the suspension/revocation begins after the 25-day permit expires.

LICENSE REINSTATEMENT AFTER DUI/DWI SUSPENSION/REVOCATION:

If you are convicted of DUI/DWI, it will result in your license being suspended or revoked. This means that your driving privileges will be taken away and you will need to apply for a reinstatement of your license with the Motor Vehicle Division, once the period of suspension or revocation is over. Reinstating a license after a suspension of a year, or revocation will also mean taking the driving tests all over again. These will include the vision test, knowledge test and the road test. If you do not complete the reinstatement requirements, the license will remain suspended or revoked.

  1. To complete the reinstatement requirements, you must prove that you have successfully completed an approved driver training course or a comparable program (the agency will send the proof to the MVD once you have completed the program), pay the reinstatement fee of $100, and maintain proof of financial responsibility by filing SR-22.
  2. If you are being convicted for a second time, it is mandatory for the court to order an ignition interlock device to be placed for breathalyser tests on any vehicle you drive.
  3. You can submit the reinstatement application and fees at an MVD office near you. Contact them for their timings.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • DUI/DWI has been a major cause of death and injury in our nation and it is our duty to prevent such needless pain and suffering. Simply: If you drink, DON'T DRIVE! If we all follow this rule to the letter - thousands of lives will be saved each year.
  • If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI get help from a DUI/DWI Lawyer.
  • See also Suspended License, Point System and Traffic Ticket Lawyers.
 

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