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How does North Dakota punish drunk drivers?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | DUI

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), better known as “drunk driving,” can come with serious consequences in North Dakota. It is important for drivers to know that North Dakota reports some of the highest numbers of arrests for drunk driving in the country.

Forbes Advisor reported that North Dakota had the second-highest rate of drunk driving arrests nationwide. Drivers who find themselves facing these accusations can benefit from knowing what penalties they could face.

Increasing severity

North Dakota’s drunk driving punishments grow in severity based on a variety of factors including how many times a driver has already offended or if someone was injured.

  • First offense: Drivers could face a class B misdemeanor. The state may fine them $500 or $750 and suspend their license for three to six months, depending on their BAC level.
  • Second offense: This constitutes a class B misdemeanor. Drivers can expect 10 days in prison, $1,500 in fines, 360 days of rehabilitation and one to two years of license suspension.
  • Third offense: This is a class A misdemeanor. Convicted drivers could see up to four months in prison, a $2,000 fine, 360 days of probation and participation in rehabilitation and two to three years of license suspension.
  • Fourth offense: Drivers with four or more offenses will likely face a class C felony and may spend one year in prison and pay $2,000 in fines. They can also be subject to two years of probation and rehabilitation.

Drivers caught drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle can face additional penalties such as up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine, regardless of how many offenses they have. It is also important to note that refusing to take a chemical BAC test can result in a license suspension six months up to three years.

It is essential for drivers to know what could happen to them if they get behind the wheel drunk.