Minot DUI Lawyers
Being charged with driving under the influence affects your civil rights immediately. The associated criminal charges may take months to resolve, but your driving privileges are handled independently from the courts through the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT). North Dakota law authorizes the DOT to revoke or suspend a driver’s license based solely on an arrest or charge for DWI/DUI. A conviction in criminal court is not required.
Consequences To Your Driver’s License
This is an important consideration because driving with a suspended license is a whole new criminal offense. In fact, “driving after suspension” is one of the most common criminal charges. Navigating the administrative system to maintain your ability to get to work, pick up your kids, and carry out other day-to-day responsibilities can be difficult. Sand Law is a full-service law firm with offices in Minot, Bismarck, Watford City, and Williston. Our experienced DUI/DWI defense attorneys in Minot can help you cut through the red tape and regain your driving privileges as soon as possible.
The law allows drivers to retain limited-purpose driver’s licenses for work, childcare, and other purposes. In addition to being a premier trial defense firm, Sand Law has developed an expertise in obtaining favorable results through the Department of Transportation’s administrative process.
Consequences To Your Criminal Record
DUI/DWI enforcement in Minot is rigorous. Recently, law enforcement has made a concerted effort to crackdown on drunk driving in Minot and across North Dakota. In the process, police officers and sheriff’s deputies have developed a tendency to cut corners and be over-zealous in their enforcement efforts.
As a result of the state’s focus on DWI enforcement, drivers are regularly stopped on unconstitutional grounds. The Fourth Amendment protects all citizens against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” When a law enforcement officer makes a traffic stop on suspicion of DWI without a reasonable, rational basis, this is a violation of the driver’s constitutional rights. Similarly, “field sobriety tests” are notoriously unreliable. Officers also commonly neglect to include important details in their reports, resulting in inconsistent trial testimony. Police officers frequently attempt to admit testimony that contradicts or is not supported by their report. Any evidence obtained through an unconstitutional stop or seizure will likely be excluded from a trial, and improperly conducted field sobriety tests are a weak foundation for a criminal charge. Our trial lawyers never forget that you have the right to be presumed innocent. The state is required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and Sand Law will ensure that you have the finest representation.
What Constitutes a North Dakota DUI?
In North Dakota, driving under the influence is often determined via blood alcohol level or the behavior of a driver that is assessed by a law enforcement officer sometimes through a sobriety test. The blood alcohol limit is the threshold of alcohol saturation in your at which you are considered drunk and therefore guilty of driving under the influence. The North Dakota blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. For drivers operating a commercial vehicle, the law is more strict with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent considered illegal. Some people can actually have a drink or two and not have their blood alcohol surpass this level and some may pass this threshold after a single drink. It is important to remember that it does not matter how you may feel when you are behind the wheel. Experienced drinkers or people with certain body mass indexes may not feel as much impairment as other people that drink the same amount but that does not matter to a breathalyzer which only reads blood alcohol level not how drunk you may “feel”. You are allowed to decline a breathalyzer test that is the usual method of determining whether you have passed this threshold.
The Sand Law Advantage
After an arrest or citation for DWI/DUI, it is important to act quickly. When you retain Sand Law to defend you against DWI charges, our experienced criminal defense attorneys will immediately contact the prosecutor’s office and demand that the state produces all of its evidence against you. Analyzing every piece of evidence, including squad car camera footage and police reports allows us to identify instances where the police acted improperly. We often find that police officers made the initial traffic stop without sufficient reason to believe that any unlawful behavior was occurring. If that is the case, any further evidence may not be admitted. It is possible to have the entire case dismissed, or charges significantly reduced, long before a trial. Taking care of the criminal charges as soon as possible allows us to shift our focus to maneuvering the administrative process with the Department of Transportation to recover your driving privileges.
About the Author of this Page: The information found in this post was written or reviewed by the attorneys at Sand Law PLLC who have years of experience practicing law in North Dakota. The information in this article was extensively researched and reviewed for legal accuracy. For information about the author of this page, view our Firm Overview page.