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What penalties could I face for a DUI in North Dakota?

Sometimes mistakes happen during a night of drinking. Maybe you planned to drive because you were only going to have one drink, and you were convinced to stay for a little longer and have more. Maybe the alcohol affected you more than you realized. 

No matter how it happened, these decisions landed you on the side of the road with police lights in your rearview mirror. So what happens next?



North Dakota penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary, depending on your age, driving history and demeanor. Here’s a breakdown of the possible consequences.

First offense

The first time you are pulled over for a DUI in North Dakota is a Class B misdemeanor. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below .16, it is a $500 fine. A BAC above .16 is a $750 fine. License suspension depends on if your BAC is above or below .18. Below is a 91-day suspension, and above is a 180-day suspension.

Second and third offenses

A second offense is also a Class B misdemeanor, but the fine is $1,500 and there is the possibility of imprisonment for up to 10 days. License suspension is 365 days if your BAC is below .18 and two years if it is above .18. You also become eligible for 360 days of participation in the state’s 24/7 Sobriety Program.

Third offenses are Class A misdemeanors, which can come with a fine of $2,000 and up to 120 days imprisonment. License suspensions are for two years if your BAC is below .18 and three years if above .18. You could also be put under 360 days of supervised probation.

Fourth time’s a felony

A fourth or subsequent offense within a 15-year period is a felony. This can include imprisonment for up to one year and one day, as well as a $2,000 fine. At this point, your BAC doesn’t matter. You become eligible for two years of participation in the 24/7 program and two years of supervised probation.

Underage offenses and other charges

Minors who are charged with a DUI could face up to one year imprisonment and a $2,000 fine.

If you refuse a chemical test, which you are required to take by law, this could be considered a crime. It could result in revocation of driving privileges from 180 days to three years.

If your DUI results in criminal vehicular injury or homicide, it could result in up to five or 20 years imprisonment, respectively.

What to do if you’re arrested

With the possible charges and penalties, a DUI can be overwhelming. There are several steps after an arrest that you can take to ensure you have the best defense possible and a mistake doesn’t haunt you for the rest of your life.

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