DUI in North Dakota

Determination of DUI in North Dakota depends on two different cases—the impairment case and the per se case. It is important to know what the consequences and rules are to avoid being convicted and losing your driver's license.

Below is a table with the general penalties of a DUI conviction in North Dakota. Keep in mind, the consequences will vary by case, and it is always recommended that anyone facing a DUI charge consult with an attorney.

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $250 Overnight Likely
6 Months
2nd Conviction $500 5 Days
1 Year
3rd Conviction $1,000 60 Days 3 Years
4th Conviction $1,000 180 days 3 Years

Two Cases of the DUI Law

The two different cases of the DUI law are very distinct, and any driving under the influence case can be prosecuted under one or both of the cases. If both cases are violated, then obviously the sentence will be much harsher. The first case is the impairment case, where you can be arrested for being unable to safely operate your car, usually due to the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can be charged for impairment if you are unable to walk in a straight line or are driving your car in an erratic manner. This is the general traditional North Dakota case, in which your driving pattern and physical signs will determine whether you are guilty of drunk driving.

The other case in which a charge can be pressed against you is in the per se theory. In such a case, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08%, meaning that more than 0.08% of your blood consists of alcohol. If a per se charge is pressed against you, you can generally hire a lawyer who will know some loopholes and at least decrease the weight of your sentence.


If it is your first offense, it is most likely that you will not be jailed, unless you have a blood alcohol concentration of over .15%, which is very high. In general, the minimum fine in North Dakota is $250 (which is mandatory), and the maximum fine can go up to $1000. If it is your first offense, your license will be revoked for at least 91 days, and 180 days if your blood alcohol content is .18% or higher.

If you are under the age of 21, having a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or greater while driving will cause your license to be revoked for six months.

DUI Enforcement in North Dakota

Driving under the influence is prevented in North Dakota through the use of sobriety checkpoints, videotaping of cars on the road at unknown and random areas, general field sobriety testing, and public awareness campaigns. For the most part, these DUI prevention methods are fairly successful, though North Dakota isn't known as one of the most stringent enforcers of DUI punishments.

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