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Elements of DUI in North Dakota

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is used to determine whether or not a person is under the influence.  BAC measures the number of grams of alcohol per 100 mL of blood, 210 L of breath, or 67 mL of urine.  For drivers under the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.02%.  For those 21 and older, the legal limit is 0.08%.  For commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04%.

A person may also be arrested for being under the influence of drugs.  A drug includes any substance that makes a person incapable of driving safely.  This includes, but is not limited to, opiates, opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants.  Any combination of alcohol and drugs that renders a person incapable of driving safely is a violation.

A person who is under the influence may not drive or have actual physical control of a vehicle.  This means a person may be in violation of the law even if the car is not turned on.  Actual physical control may include situations where the car is parked with the motor running, the car is parked with the key in the ignition but not turned on, the driver was awake and sitting in the driver’s seat holding the key, the driver was sleeping in the driver’s seat with a key in his/her pocket, the driver was sleeping in the back seat with the key in the glove compartment, etc.  Even if a person has no intention of driving while intoxicated, the prosecution only needs to show that the offender had the ability to drive and control the car while under the influence.


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