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DUI & DWI in North Dakota

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North Dakota DUI & DWI

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the North Dakota court systems are harsh on people driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs/alcohol.

If you are arrested for a DUI, you will face both criminal court penalties and administrative penalties against your driving privileges. If convicted, you'll be required to pay fines, serve jail time, wait out a ND driver's license suspension, complete an alcohol education program, and pay reinstatement fees.

On this page you'll find information about the definitions of a DUI in North Dakota, some of the common penalties, and the steps you may need to take to reinstate your driver's license.

North Dakota DUI/DWI Definitions

In North Dakota, you will be arrested for, and possibly convicted of, a DUI if your alcohol content (AC) is:

  • 0.08% or more.
  • 0.02% or more, if you are younger than 21 years old.
  • 0.04% or more, if you are driving a commercial vehicle.

NOTE: Depending on the circumstances of your offense, subsequent arrest, and the discretion of your judge, you may receive a DUI even if your BAC was lower than the legal limits.

DUI Penalties in North Dakota

You will receive penalties for a DUI as a result of a court conviction AND through administrative procedures of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT).

Generally, you will receive higher penalties for high AC DUIs and for multiple offenses within a certain time frame. The specific circumstances of your DUI can also lead to higher penalties.

Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalties are in addition to and not influenced by any criminal penalties. You may not be convicted in a criminal court but still lose your license with Administrative penalties.

If you fail or refuse a chemical test (alcohol content test) you will have your license suspended or revoked by the Department of Transportation. If you wish to fight the suspension or revocation you must request a hearing within 10 days from the date you received your Report and Notice form. The hearing will take place within 30 days of the request.

If you do not request a hearing your suspension or revocation will go into effect 25 days from the date of the Report and Notice form. It is important to read your Report and Notice for as it will let you know if you are eligible to drive during the 25 days before your license is officially suspended.

1st offense DUI

  • Alcohol content is 0.08% to 0.17%: Driver's license suspension: 91 days.
  • Alcohol content is 0.18% or over: Driver's license suspension: 180 days.

2nd offense DUI within 5 years

  • Alcohol content is 0.08% to 0.17%: Driver's license suspension: 365 days.
  • Alcohol content is 0.18% or over: Driver's license suspension: 2 years.

3rd offense DUI within 5 years

  • Alcohol content is 0.08% to 0.17%: Driver's license suspension: 2 years.
  • Alcohol content is 0.18% or over: Driver's license suspension: 3 years.

Drivers under 21 years old face the same penalties if they drive with an alcohol content of 0.02% or more.

Refusing an Alcohol Content Test

  • 1st offense: Driver's license revoked 1 year.
  • 2nd offense within 5 years: Driver's license revoked 3 years.
  • 3rd offense or greater within 5 years: Driver's license revoked 4 years.

For more information on Administrative penalties see the brochure The Price You'll Pay...DUI in North Dakota.

Criminal Penalties

For a 1st offense, you will likely be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and face:

  • A $500 fine if your BAC is lower than 0.16%.
  • 2 days in jail and a $750 fine if your BAC is 0.16% or more.

An addiction evaluation/alcohol education and treatment program.

For a 2nd DUI offense within 7 years, you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and face:

  • 10 days in jail.
  • A $1,500 fine.
  • Mandatory participation in North Dakota's 24/7 sobriety program for 1 year.
  • Compulsory completion of an addiction evaluation/alcohol education and treatment program.

For a 3rd DUI offense within 7 years, you will likely be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and face:

  • 120 days in jail.
  • A $2,000 fine.
  • Supervised probation for 1 year.
  • Mandatory participation in North Dakota's 24/7 sobriety program for 1 year.
  • Compulsory completion of an addiction evaluation/alcohol education and treatment program.

For a 4th or subsequent DUI offense, you will likely receive a Class C felony and face:

  • 1 year and 1 day in jail.
  • A $2,000 fine.
  • Supervised probation for 2 years.
  • Mandatory participation in the ND 24/7 sobriety program for 2 years.
  • Compulsory completion of an alcohol addiction evaluation and treatment program.

Your specific penalties will vary depending on the nature and circumstances of your DUI. Other circumstances can increase your penalties. Such as:

  • DUI with a minor in the vehicle.
  • Accident involving injury or death.

For more information on the penalties for a DUI in North Dakota, please visit the NDDOT website.

Reinstating Your ND Driver's License

After you've completed your court conviction requirements and have waited out the duration of your ND driver's license suspension, you'll need to have it reinstated.

With a 1st offense DUI or any subsequent after more than 5 years, you may be eligible for a temporary restricted licenses. Before you apply you must complete at least 30 days of your suspension. You can apply for this license by filling out a Temporary Restricted License Request (Form SFN 2254). Make sure you meet the requirements listed on the form before you apply.

Driver's license reinstatement typically require:

For more information about your possible reinstatement requirements, please visit our Suspended License in North Dakota page.

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