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North Dakota DUI Laws

North Dakota has two categories of driving under the influence laws: (1) misdemeanors and (2) felony.  There are two kinds of misdemeanors: Class A and Class B.  One or two offenses within a five-year period are classified as Class B misdemeanors.  Three offenses within a five-year period, or four offenses within a seven-year period are classified as Class A misdemeanors.   A violation may also be Class A if driving under the influence caused serious bodily injury or if  the driver was accompanied by a minor.  Five or more offenses in a seven-year period is a Class C felony.

A person who is found driving with a level above the legal limit may be subject to criminal and administrative penalties.  While the statutes refer generally to motor vehicles, it is not exclusive to just cars.  North Dakota has specifically implemented statutes relevant to snowmobiles, and has generally stated that driving under the influence is applicable to other modes of transportation as well.  The extent of the penalties will depend on the number of prior offenses a driver has.  Criminal penalties may include a fine, evaluation for addiction, or imprisonment.  Administrative penalties may include suspension or revocation of driving privileges.  Furthermore, an offense may be noted by other agencies and may result in greater insurance premiums.  Criminal penalties may be enhanced depending on the circumstances of the current offense.  For example: causing bodily injury, extremely high BAC, or driving with a minor.  If a driver refuses to submit to testing, that may also result in penalties.  Alternative remedies may be available for certain drivers.  For example, installing an ignition interlock device to allow use of the vehicle while making sure that the driver is not under the influence.

There are different standards that apply to different types of drivers.  There is a “no-tolerance” policy for drivers under the age of 21, who are not legally allowed to drink.  There are also different standards for commercial drivers, whether or not the offense was committed within the scope of their employment.


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