Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, and Jamestown, North Dakota all have the same laws when it comes to Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Should an individual be pulled over, arrested, and subsequently charged with DUI, he or she needs to begin the process of fighting those charges as soon as possible, and the professionals at DUIRights.com can help.
“Wet Reckless” in North Dakota
While the ultimate goal of fighting a DUI charge is to have the case dismissed completely, in some cases the circumstances of the individual’s actions and the arrest do not lend themselves to that type of outcome. In these cases, the individual will want to work with his or her lawyer to possibly take a plea bargain for a lesser charge. This means in exchange for the individual pleading guilty, the state prosecutor will reduce the charges to something less serious, like “wet reckless.”
The Importance of Your DUI Rights
Usually, the individual’s attorney will need to present evidence against the state or the police officer who made the DUI arrest to get the state prosecutor to agree to reduce the charges or, depending on what kind of evidence is uncovered, have the case dismissed completely. Some individuals have their rights violated during a DUI arrest, which is just the kind of evidence an attorney will need to get a plea deal or the case dismissed. An individual’s lawyer will usually ask some, if not all, of the following questions to determine if any violation of rights occurred during the arrest:
- Did the officer witness the client driving the vehicle or was the vehicle parked?
- What was the officer’s reason for pulling the client over and detaining them? What behavior or traffic violation did they witness?
- What were the officer’s observations of the client’s behavior? Were those observations consistent with other individuals who may have been witnesses?
- Did the officer administer proper field sobriety testing to the client?
- Were there any outside factors that affected the outcome of the client’s sobriety testing, such as bad weather conditions?
- Did the officer administer a Breathalyzer test to the client? How long after the client’s last alcoholic beverage was this test administered?
- Did the officer read the client their Miranda Rights?
Protect your rights and learn how to get your North Dakota DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case.
DUI/DWI Laws in North Dakota
North Dakota DUI laws are about average for the country. However, the one area that shows considerable leniency concerns an ignition interlock device (IID). Currently, regardless of the offense, drivers do not have to have an IID installed on their vehicle.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
North Dakota is an implied consent state. Instead of a suspension, however, your license will be revoked for refusing to take a chemical test.
- First offense – one-year license revocation
- Second offense – if you have an offense in the last five years, your license will be revoked for three years
- Third offense – if you have two prior offenses in the last five years, your license will be revoked for four years
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
North Dakota uses standard guidelines for blood alcohol content (BAC):
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in North Dakota?
Jail sentences are among the shortest mandatory sentences in the country in North Dakota. However, whereas most states offer a range of sentence lengths, all jail sentences in North Dakota are pre-determined:
- First offense – no mandatory jail sentence
- Second offense – 10-day mandatory jail sentence
- Third offense – 120-day mandatory jail sentence
- Fourth offense – 180-day mandatory jail sentence
- Fifth offense – five year maximum sentence
The lookback period in North Dakota is five years.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in North Dakota
North Dakota monetary fines can be significant, especially for repeat offenders:
- First offense – fines ranging from $500 to $750
- Second offense – fines ranging from $600 to $1,000
- Third offense – at least $2,000 in fines
- Fourth offense – at least $2,000 in fines
- Fifth offense – maximum fines of $5,000
License Suspension for DUI in North Dakota
First time offenders face one of the longer mandatory license suspensions for DUI conviction in North Dakota:
- First offense – suspension ranging from 91 days to 180 days
- Second offense – one-year mandatory suspension
- Third offense – suspension ranging from two to three years
- Fourth offense – suspension ranging from two to three years
There is no mandatory IID installation required in North Dakota.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in North Dakota
While some areas of North Dakota law are considered lax, the monetary fines and license suspension terms, especially for first-time offenders, are very significant. When you factor in the secondary problems that can arise with a DUI conviction, you may want to hire a local DUI attorney to help you fight the charges. To have your case evaluated free as well as recommendations for a DUI attorney, fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form.