North Dakota Drunk Driving Laws

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in North Dakota?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. In North Dakota, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is
    .02 or greater.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in North Dakota

  • For a first offense, the sentence must include both a fine of at least $500 and an order for addiction consultation by an appropriate licensed addiction treatment program. In addition, for a first offense, when the convicted person has an alcohol concentration of at least sixteen one-hundredths of one percent by weight, the offense is an aggravated first offense and the sentence must include a fine of at least $750 and at least two days' imprisonment.
  • A second DWI results in ten days imprisonment and a $1,500 fine, plus addiction consultation, one year in the 24/7 program, and a one year license suspension if BAC is below .18. If BAC is above .18, it is a two year suspension.
  • A third DWI carries a penalty of 120 days in prison and a $2,000 fine plus addiction consultation, one year supervised probation, one year in the 24/7 program and a two year license suspension if BAC is below .18 and a three year suspension if BAC is .18 or higher.
  • For fourth and subsequent offenses, the penalty is one year and one day imprisonment and a $2,000 fine, plus addiction consultation, and two years supervised probation and two years in the 24/7 program.

Special Punishment for Causing Injury or Death While Operating a Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol

If a person commits a DUI that causes serious injury or death to another, the offender must be sentenced to at least one year in prison. If the offender is at least 18 but not yet 21, the prison term is at least 90 days. If the offender is under 18, he or she will be prosecuted under North Dakota’s Uniform Juvenile Court Act.

Penalty for DUI While Being Accompanied by a Minor

A person who is at least 21 and commits a DUI while a minor was in the vehicle faces up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both.

Ignition Interlock

In addition to other penalties associated with North Dakota’s DUI laws, a judge may require that an ignition interlock device be installed in the offender’s vehicle for a period of time that the judge finds appropriate.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties that may apply under North Dakota’s DUI laws, a commercial driver will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year if the driver commits a DUI while driving any vehicle. If, however, the driver was operating a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials at the time, the disqualification period is at least three years. A commercial driver who commits a second DUI while driving any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life, which may or may not be reduced to a period of 10 years.

Drivers Under 18

Drivers under 18 who commit a DUI in North Dakota will be prosecuted under the state’s Uniform Juvenile Court Act. The driver’s license suspension periods applicable to adults apply to all drivers, regardless of age.

What is North Dakota’s Claim for Relief for Fault Resulting from Intoxication Statute?

This statute creates a cause of action for damages for personal injuries caused by intoxication against any person who knowingly provides alcohol to a minor or to an obviously intoxicated person. Damages are measured in proportion to fault. Under this statute, neither the intoxicated person nor an adult passenger in a car driven by the intoxicated person can file suit.

Criminal Penalty for Delivering Alcohol to Minor or to an Obviously Intoxicated Person

In North Dakota, it is a crime to provide alcohol to a person under 21 or to an obviously intoxicated person. A person who violates this law is subject to up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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