North Dakota DUI Laws

North Dakota DUI Basics

The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the United States is 0.08 percent. Minors in North Dakota will be arrested for driving under the influence if having a blood alcohol content above 0.02 percent. Commercial drivers will also be prosecuted if having a blood alcohol content above 0.04 percent.

Those who have blood alcohol content levels above the limit will be arrested and charged. Individuals can be held on charges of driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, and operating under the influence.


Driving under the influence charges are prosecuted similarly in each state. In North Dakota individuals can be prosecuted in two ways. The first form of prosecution is through impairment. The prosecution will provide evidence before the court to show that an individual was too impaired to drive.

Impairment evidence can include field sobriety tests, chemical tests, breath tests, physical appearance, blood alcohol content levels, and others. An individual’s blood alcohol content level may not provided reason for an impairment conviction. Simple because an individual has a blood alcohol content above 0.08 percent, does not mean that he or she was impaired.

The second form of driving under the influence charges is called per se charges. Under per se charges an individual will be prosecuted for driving while having a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit. Whether or not an individual was too impaired to drive does not affect per se charges. While in court the prosecution will provide the individual’s blood alcohol content levels as evidence. Normally driving under the influence cases are determined by a jury, however an individual may choose a judge to determine his or her guilty or innocence.

Test Refusal

When an individual in the United States obtains a driver’s license, he or she give common consent to submit to chemical testing when requested. If he or she refuses to submit to chemical testing, the individual will automatically have his or her driver’s license suspended. This kind of suspension will happen despite other charges or convictions or if he or she had a blood alcohol content level below the legal limit.

While in court the jury or the judge will assume the individual who refused testing is guilty. In North Dakota an individual may have his or her driver’s license suspended between one and three years in addition to other convictions.


Driving under the influence convictions are based on prior offenses as well as aggravated factors. The more offenses an individual has, the harsher the convictions. North Dakota has a washout period where after seven years a prior offense cannot be used to aggravate a current offense. Aggravating factors often include having a minor in the motor vehicle upon an arrest, having a blood alcohol content level twice the legal limit, driving over the speed limit, causing injury to another, and causing the death of another.

Driving under the influence offenses, including a first offense, will most often include fines of hundreds of dollars, incarceration, alcohol education courses, motor vehicle impounding, and ignition interlock devices. The amount of the fine and the length of incarceration varies with each case.

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