14th January 2020 | Sand Law, PLLC
If you think that driving with a drink or two in your system is not a big deal, think twice before getting in the car.
Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is not only unlawful but also dangerous both for the driver and for the other participants in the traffic. Nevertheless, it happens more than often, resulting in accidents, hefty fines, and even jail time.
Learn how to avoid a DUI in North Dakota and how to deal with the consequences if you have been involved in one.
What are the Basics of a DUI in North Dakota?
The state of North Dakota limits the alcohol concentration in the blood to 0.08% for non-commercial drivers and 0.04% for commercial vehicles. If the driver is under the age of 21, the state has a zero-tolerance policy when their BAC measures 0.02% and above.
Most often, the blood alcohol concentration is measured using a breathalyzer. The test is performed by a law enforcement officer, using a breath sample to determine whether the driver is intoxicated. However, sometimes the readings might be inaccurate and can result in false charges.
Penalties Related to a DUI
DUIs in North Dakota are associated with different penalties based on the degree of the offense.
- If this is your first DUI offense, you are looking to get fined anywhere from $500 for a BAC level below 0.16 to $750 for BAC level greater than 0.16. You might have to serve a minimum of 2 days of jail time if your BAC is above 0.16. If it measures below 0.18, your license will be suspended for 91 days, as opposed to 180 days if it measures greater than 0.18. In all cases, you are required to participate in an addiction evaluation program.
- If a second offense DUI occurs within 7 years from the first, the fine is $1500 and jail time is 10 days. If BAC is below 0.18, your license will be suspended for 365 days or 2 years if BAC is greater than 0.18. Again, you are required to participate in an addiction evaluation program.
- For a third offense DUI within 7 years from the first, the fine is $2000, and the imprisonment time is 120 days. Your license will be suspended for 2 years if your BAC level is below 0.18 or 3 years if it is greater. Additionally, you will be under supervised probation for 360 days and will have to attend an addiction evaluation program.
- Every fourth and subsequent offenses within 15 years from the first are penalized with a $2000 fine, one year and one day of imprisonment, supervised probation for 2 years, and participation in an addiction evaluation program.
How Much Will a DUI Cost You in North Dakota?
A DUI costs more than you think, and sometimes paying for a cab fare instead of driving under the influence of alcohol can save you thousands of dollars.
The state of North Dakota imposes DUI fines ranging from $500 to $2000, depending on the degree of the offense. However, there are other expenses associated with a DUI offense, such as court fees and legal defense fees, which can vary depending on the severity of the case and the experience of the lawyer.
DUI incidents often lead to damaged vehicles due to car crashes. Car crashes, on the other hand, result in increased insurance premiums.
Another unfortunate outcome due to drunk-driving crashes are physical injuries. Medical expenses associated with them are costly, especially when the victim doesn’t have health insurance.
In addition to that, physical injuries can result in long term loss of employment.
However, not all costs related to DUIs are material. The emotional strain associated with a DUI offense can sometimes feel more significant than any financial obligation. This is especially true in the event when an innocent person is hurt due to a drunk-driving car accident.
What are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field Sobriety Tests are standardized tests performed by a law enforcement officer to determine whether a person is driving under the influence of alcohol or other toxic substances.
The test consists of three parts: Horizontal gaze nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One-Leg Stand, which aim to show signs of impaired vision and mobility due to intoxication.
These tests, however, are highly unreliable. Therefore, the state of North Dakota, or any state, does not legally oblige anyone to submit to a field sobriety test, and there are no penalties if one decides not to do so.
Moreover, lawyers do not recommend that anyone submits to the test. One-third of completely sober people fail the test. If a person fails it, even if sober, they will still be arrested for a DUI and have an arrest record.
How to Avoid Getting Arrested Because of a DUI?
No one wants to get arrested; therefore, the most obvious measure against a DUI is to abstain from drinking and driving.
Having a designated driver or simply calling an Uber is extremely efficient in preventing getting a DUI due to drunk-driving.
You can avoid intoxication by sticking to only standard drinks and having no more than one drink each hour. Examples of standard drinks are 5oz of wine, 12oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of liquor.
You can maintain a low BAC by snacking while drinking and having a non-alcoholic drink between each alcoholic ones.
Avoid participating in drinking games as they are associated with fast drinking and severe intoxication.
What to do if You are Arrested for a DUI in North Dakota?
Naturally, we recommend that you trust your common sense and never get behind the wheel when drunk or intoxicated. However, accidents happen, and in case you are arrested for a DUI in North Dakota, make sure to seek legal help immediately. Finding the right attorney who specializes in DUI defense can be critical for the outcome of your case. Here at Sand Law North Dakota, we offer a free consultation to evaluate your situation and come up with a unique approach. Contact us online or call us at 701-609-1510.