DUI offenses can result in life-changing consequences, even for first-time offenders. The courts decide an offense’s penalties on a tiered basis; jail time and fine amounts generally depend on the defendant’s prior offenses within the last seven years.
In North Dakota, first-time DUI offenses are class B misdemeanors that carry potential jail time, a minimum fine, a suspension of driver’s license and a chemical dependency evaluation. Suppose you’re a first-time DUI offender; you should know that your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) can also be used to establish the severity of your penalties.
When can you be arrested for DUI?
A driver can get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) for being behind the wheel with a BAC of 0.08 for small cars or greater than 0.04 for commercial vehicles and while impaired by alcohol, any controlled substance or a combination of the two. The state has zero tolerance for anyone under 21 years being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 and above.
Law enforcement officers can also arrest and charge drivers with DUI when they’re broadly suspected of incapable of safely operating a vehicle as a result of ingesting alcohol or drugs as well.
First-offense DUI penalties
Suppose you get arrested for a first-offense DUI; you’ll be required to pay a $750 fine if your BAC is 0.16 or higher and a $500 fine for a BAC below 0.16. Offenders whose BAC is 0.16 or higher can also get a two-day jail sentence.
As already mentioned, first-time DUI offenders may also face driver’s license suspension. You could face a 91-day license suspension for a BAC below 0.18. However, the license suspension period can go up to 180 days if your BAC was 0.18 or higher at the time of arrest.
Additionally, a defendant may face a minimum of two days imprisonment if they get arrested with a BAC of 0.16 and above. Please note that jail time may shoot up to 30 days if there are aggravating factors.
Lastly, every DUI offender, first-time or otherwise, has to complete an additional evaluation to narrow down their choice of drug rehabilitation. Suppose your recommended treatment is a 24/7 sobriety program; you’ll have to commit to:
- Random testing
- Alcohol monitoring
- Drug patch testing
Luckily, the time a defendant serves at an inpatient rehabilitation facility can be deducted from the minimum jail term for a DUI conviction.
Even first-time DUI charges in North Dakota risk significant legal consequences in the event of a conviction. Suppose you get arrested for a first-time DUI offense; seeking legal representation and adhering to the legal process can significantly impact your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.