Steps to Take if You Are Pulled Over For a St. Patrick's Day DUI - Sand Law North Dakota
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Steps to Take if You’re Pulled Over for Drunk Driving on St. Patrick’s Day

1st March 2024

Drunk driver getting pulled over by the police

Understanding your rights is crucial in a St. Patrick’s Day DUI stop.


  • St. Patrick’s Day celebrations often see a rise in drunk driving and police activity, so it’s a good idea to know what steps to take if you’re pulled over for drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • DUI penalties in North Dakota include fines, license suspension, jail time, and higher insurance rates.
  • If pulled over for DUI, you have the right to remain silent and refuse field sobriety tests. Breathalyzer tests are mandatory, and refusal leads to automatic license suspension.
  • An experienced DUI attorney can help navigate the legal process and potentially minimize the impact of a St. Patrick’s Day DUI charge.

St. Patrick’s Day is a time for celebration, filled with parties and parades, traditional Irish fare, and of course, a good pint of Guinness. However, these festivities often come with a rise in drunk driving incidents, along with increased police activity on the roads.

Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense that can carry some heavy consequences. If you find yourself pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving this St. Patrick’s Day, it’s crucial to know your rights and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

You don’t have to face a St. Patrick’s Day DUI charge charge alone. The team of criminal defense lawyers at Sand Law can help you defend your rights throughout every step of the process. You can schedule a free consultation by calling (701) 394-3715 or contacting us online.

Understanding DUI Law in North Dakota

Driving under the influence (DUI), also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI) in some states, is a serious crime better known as drunk driving. It is a common cause of North Dakota car accidents. Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% is considered driving under the influence.

Depending on the severity of the incident, driving under the influence can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Consequences for a St. Patrick’s Day DUI conviction in North Dakota can be significant, including the following.

  • Fines: First-time offenders face fines ranging from $500 to $750. Subsequent offenses carry heftier fines, potentially up to $2,000.
  • License Suspension: Your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 180 days for a first-time offense and multiple years for subsequent DUIs.
  • Jail Time: For a first DUI offense, incarceration is unlikely but can be imposed by the court. However, subsequent offenses significantly increase the likelihood of jail time.
  • Increased Insurance Rates: A DUI conviction will probably result in a significant increase in your car insurance premiums.

Beyond these immediate consequences, the penalties for a DUI conviction can have long-lasting effects on your employment opportunities and future travel plans. It’s vital to understand the gravity of a St. Patrick’s Day DUI charge. Be sure to seek legal representation to potentially minimize the impact on your life.

Getting Pulled Over for a St. Patrick’s Day DUI

If you’re pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the first thing to remember is to stay calm. Then, pull over safely to the side of the road.

Cooperate with law enforcement. Provide any documents they request, like your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.

While it’s important to be polite and cooperative during a DUI stop, you should also be mindful of your rights. You have the right to remain silent, and you do not have to answer any questions about your alcohol consumption. You’re only required to provide your identification and comply with the officer’s lawful requests.

Field Sobriety and Breathalyzer Tests

During a DUI stop, the officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests (FSTs). These tests are designed to assess your coordination and balance, potentially indicating alcohol impairment. In North Dakota, you have the right to refuse FSTs. While refusing them may raise suspicion, it is your right. Your refusal cannot be used as sole evidence for a DUI conviction.

The officer may also request a breathalyzer test using a small device that measures your BAC. Unlike FSTs, breathalyzer tests are mandatory in North Dakota. Refusing a breathalyzer for a St. Patrick’s Day DUI carries its own consequences.

It’s important to understand that both field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests have limitations. FSTs are notoriously subjective and unreliable, and breathalyzers can malfunction or be improperly administered. Both of these tests can be successfully challenged in court.

Navigating the Legal Process After Being Charged With a St. Patrick’s Day DUI

What happens after a DUI stop in North Dakota usually entails an arrest, followed by additional legal repercussions. The legal process for DUI cases can be stressful and confusing, but with the right help, you’ll get through it.

Your Legal Rights

If you’re arrested for a St. Patrick’s Day DUI, remember your right to remain silent and immediately request to speak with a lawyer. Politely decline all requests to answer questions without a lawyer present.

An experienced DUI attorney can advise you on your best course of action and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Your St. Patrick’s Day DUI Case

After your arrest, your DUI case will go through hearings, arraignment, and possibly plea negotiations or a trial.

For best outcomes, it’s crucial to follow all legal requirements established by the court during your case. This includes attending all scheduled hearings and meetings with your attorney. You also need to comply with any court orders, such as alcohol monitoring programs or community service.

Tips on Celebrating Responsibly on St. Patrick’s Day

While St. Patrick’s Day is a time for fun and festivities, prioritizing safety can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Here are some tips for celebrating responsibly and avoiding consequences like a St. Patrick’s Day DUI charge:

  • Plan ahead: If you plan on drinking alcohol, pick a designated driver or plan on calling a rideshare service to get home.
  • Pace yourself: Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages like water, and be mindful of your overall consumption.
  • Eat: Having food in your stomach slows down alcohol absorption.
  • Stay overnight: If necessary, arrange a safe place to stay if you become too intoxicated to drive home.

By following these guidelines and being aware of your rights in the event of a holiday DUI stop, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day celebration for yourself and others on the road.

Choose Sand Law to Handle Your St. Patrick’s Day DUI Case

If you’re pulled over for a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day, it can be a stressful experience, especially if you face criminal charges. Drunk driving convictions can have life-changing consequences.

The team of expert North Dakota DUI defense attorneys at Sand Law has the specialized skills and knowledge it takes to defend your rights. We are committed to providing the guidance and support needed to navigate DUI charges and ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Learn more by contacting us online or calling (701) 394-3715 for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties for a DUI conviction in North Dakota?

Penalties vary based on the severity of the offense but can include fines ranging from $500 to $2,000, long-term license suspension, and jail time.

What happens if I refuse a breathalyzer test in North Dakota?

Refusing a breathalyzer test in North Dakota can result in automatic penalties, including the suspension of your driver’s license, due to North Dakota’s implied consent laws. This suspension can occur regardless of the outcome of any subsequent DUI charges.

How long does a DUI case take?

The timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s schedule, ranging from several months to several years. On average, a DUI case takes about six months to resolve.

However, your DUI defense lawyer will provide an estimated timeline and keep you informed throughout the process.