Under North Dakota DUI laws, motorists incur severe penalties after committing a DUI offense within the state. The ND Department of Transportation (DOT) and the court system issue separate DUI penalties to drivers who fail to stay in compliance with driving laws. These consequences generally apply to motorists caught driving with an excessive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in their system, refuse to submit to chemical testing or are driving with an open container of alcohol.

In addition to the penalties issued due to a DUI and DWI in North Dakota, motorists sustain additional punishments if they are involved in a vehicle accident resulting in injuries or death to another person. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer in these cases is highly important for drivers who want to minimize their sentence or completely avoid a conviction on their driving record. Find out more about the different procedures and requirements after being charged with a DUI in ND by reading the sections below.

DUI Citations and Convictions in North Dakota

Those who receive a DWI ticket for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will need to settle their case in court. However, drivers who cannot complete the process of beating a DUI will incur serious punishments as a result of their charges. Court-imposed DUI penalties in North Dakota are typically tougher than administrative penalties.

While the DOT may suspend your driving credentials for a specified period of time, the presiding court may impose steep fines, jail or prison sentences, and mandatory participation in treatment programs in addition to a license suspension.

North Dakota Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

The severity of North Dakota DUI charges and the related penalties is based on several factors, such as the number of prior offenses on a motorist’s driving history, the age of the offender, the BAC level determined at the time of testing and more. Stricter DUI consequences usually apply to adult motorists 21 years of age or older with higher alcohol concentration levels or several convictions on their report.

Drivers younger than 21 years old, on the other hand, are charged with DUI in ND for BAC levels as low as .02 percent, as well as for refusing to submit to a chemical test or purchasing and possessing alcoholic beverages.

First DUI Offense

Committing an ND first DUI will incur penalties such as fines of $500, a driving license suspension of 91 days, as well as an addiction evaluation. Larger drunk driving fines and a jail sentence will be imposed on offenders with a blood alcohol concentration higher than .16 percent.

Second DUI offense

A second DUI violation in North Dakota within a 7-year period is considered a class B misdemeanor and will lead to a 10-day jail sentence, a fine ranging between $1,000 and $1,500, as well as mandatory participation in the 24/7 Sobriety Program. Consequences of a second DUI also include a 365-day license suspension for a BAC lower than .18 percent or 2-year suspension for a BAC at .18 percent or higher.

Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses

Motorists with more than two DUI offenses on their driving transcript will incur even more severe punishments, including longer jail sentences and larger fines. For example, drivers convicted of a third DUI offense within 7 years of a prior offense will be required to serve 120 days in prison, 360 days supervised DUI probation, a fine of $2,000, suspension of their privilege to drive and mandatory treatment program and evaluation.

Note: Other DUI penalties in ND generally include a license revocation of 180 days to 3 years for chemical test refusal and between 5 and 20 years imprisonment for vehicular injury or homicide, respectively.

Drinking and Driving in North Dakota

State courts and the ND DOT administer strict drunk driving charges and punishments to intoxicated drivers so as to prevent drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and to reduce the number of deadly crashes within the state.

Per North Dakota drunk driving laws, motorists are strictly prohibited from consuming alcohol or narcotic drugs when operating a vehicle, as these substances greatly reduce drivers’ reaction times, impair their vision and interfere with their concentration, thus endangering the lives other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

North Dakota DUI Attorneys

Help from an ND impaired driving lawyer often proves to be invaluable for motorists charged with DUI, as he or she will be able to advise them on the best course of action in such instances. A DUI defense attorney who is an expert in these cases must be familiar with local and state laws in order to provide an explanation of the applicable charges and penalties.

Even though an experienced drunk driving attorney in North Dakota may not be able to help drivers completely avoid a conviction, he or she may still negotiate lower punishments on their behalf during trial.

North Dakota Open Container Laws

It is against North Dakota DUI laws to consume alcohol as a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle. Both driver and passenger of a vehicle must observe this drunk driving law, which is more commonly known as the Open Container Law. Drivers or passengers with an open container of alcoholic beverage must place it in the trunk of the vehicle.

Otherwise, both or either party will be penalized for failure to abide by state regulations. Open or sealed alcoholic beverage containers can be transported in a vehicle so long as the alcohol is out of reach of the driver or any passengers in the car.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in North Dakota

Driving under the influence in ND often results in a driver’s license suspension, both as an administrative and criminal penalty. Since operating with an ND DUI suspended license is illegal and may lead to additional penalties, motorists must initiate the restoration process as soon as possible.

The following list outlines several steps that drivers may need to complete when applying for license reinstatement:

  • Complete the mandatory suspension period.
  • Arrange payment for the allotted fees and fines, including a reinstatement fee.
  • Enroll in a mandatory treatment program (if applicable).
  • Present proof of financial responsibility with an SR-22 insurance form.

Note: Other reinstatement requirements may apply, depending on the circumstances of your case. Contact a nearby ND DOT branch to find out more about your restoration procedure.

North Dakota Alcohol Awareness Classes

Drivers with a DWI conviction in North Dakota may be required to enroll in DUI classes as a condition of probation. Participation in a drunk driving course (24/7 Sobriety Program) is often a requirement imposed on motorists with more than one conviction on their report, and its purpose is generally to help licensees learn of the negative effects of alcohol and drugs on safe driving practices.

Aside from this, drivers may also participate in a traffic school course and find out more about drinking and driving, in addition to acquiring safe driving habits.

North Dakota SR-22 Insurance

It is mandatory for motorists convicted of impaired driving in ND to file proof of future financial responsibility with the state DOT, thus finalizing the reinstatement process. The standard North Dakota DUI insurance is an SR-22 certificate which can be purchased through a car insurance provider.

Note that this insurance form must be kept on file with the Department of Transportation for one year after completing the restoration procedure.

North Dakota Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

Serious DUI and DWI penalties apply to drivers caught operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol content over the legal limit set by state legislation. Drivers 21 years of age or older, for example, will be in violation of drunk driving laws with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Even stricter penalties are issued to motorists with a BAC of .16 percent or more.

Licensees under the legal drinking age, on the other hand, are prohibited from driving with an alcohol concentration in their system of .02 percent or more. Severe charges will also be brought against drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing, as they are in violation of the state Implied Consent Law.

Hardship License in North Dakota

Motorists with a DUI suspended license in ND may be able to apply for a restricted credential and continue operating a vehicle to specific locations only. A temporary restricted license (TRL) allows drivers to use their motor vehicle for work or educational purposes, or when performing life maintenance needs.

The DOT in North Dakota will only grant a work permit to first-time DUI and DWI offenders who have completed at least 30 days of their suspension period or 14 days of their 24/7 Sobriety Program. Licensees with several DWI convictions or those charged with DUI due to chemical test refusal are prohibited from obtaining this license.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.