North Dakota DUI Laws & Penalties

North Dakota DUI laws state that it is unlawful for any person to operate or attempt to drive a motorized vehicle in the state of North Dakota while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or any combination thereof with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater.

It is not necessary for a person who is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in North Dakota to show the typical signs of impairment one would expect to see in someone who has been consuming alcohol or drugs, just the fact that that person's BAC level is above the legal limit of .08% or greater will get you arrested for DUI in North Dakota.



A person can still be arrested and charged with DUI in North Dakota even if their BAC level is below the legal limit just by displaying signs of impairment that are consistent with driving under the influence.

Even before an officer stops someone on suspicion of DUI, the officer is already starting to build a case against that individual starting with observing the individual's driving behavior prior to initiating a DUI stop.  The officer is going to be observing whether or not you are swerving within your own lane or whether or not you are swerving over the lane markers.

He will also be looking for other signs like excessively wide turns, how you are maintaining your speed versus the posted speed limit and other various observations.  All of this is going on even before the officer initiates a DUI stop.

When you are stopped the officer is going to start by asking the obvious questions as to whether or not you've been drinking and then the officer will proceed into asking you to perform some field sobriety tests.  It is not required by law that you submit to the field sobriety tests, you have every right to kindly refuse to submit to them.

You are however, required by North Dakota's implied consent law to submit to a chemical test.  If you refuse to submit to a chemical test the arresting officer must inform you of the penalties for a test refusal and then ask you a second time if you will submit to a chemical test.

Every driver who holds a North Dakota driver's license has agreed to the state's implied consent law when they initially accepted their North Dakota driver's license.  Basically the implied consent law says that if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence you shall submit to a chemical test to check for alcohol, drugs or intoxicants in your body.

You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing with the Department of Transportation to challenge the DOT's suspension of your driver's license.  Administrative hearings can be quite intimidating with out a North Dakota DUI lawyer on your side who knows the hearing process.

An experienced North Dakota DUI lawyer will charge around $400 - $500 to represent you at your administrative hearing.  If you are successful at your administrative hearing your license will be returned to you.  If the DOT rules against you, the suspension of your license will stand, but you may be eligible for a work permit after the first 30 days of your suspension period has passed.

North Dakota First Offense DUI

A North Dakota first offense DUI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A first offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: There is no minimum jail sentence for a first offense conviction unless your BAC level was .16% or greater then there is a 2 day minimum jail term or 20 hours of community service..
  • Fines: The fine amount for a first offense will be between $500 - $1,500 plus court costs.
  • Alcohol evaluation: You will be required to attend an addiction facility alcohol evaluation program.
  • Test refusal: A first offense refusal will result in a 1 year license revocation. You will not be eligible for a restricted license.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock may be required by the court in extreme cases if you are granted a restricted license.
  • License suspension: A first offense conviction with a BAC level below .16% will result in a license suspension period of up to 91 days and a 180 day suspension for a BAC of .16% or greater.  In both cases, you may be eligible for a work permit after 30 days of your suspension period has passed. Before the North Dakota DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period or issue you a work permit you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a North Dakota SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.

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North Dakota Second Offense DUI

A North Dakota second offense DUI is a Misdemeanor offense and the "look back" period is 7 years.  A second offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A second offense conviction will result in a mandatory 10 days in jail, or at the court's discretion you may be ordered to perform 30 days of community service in lieu of any jail time. If jail time is required, 90% of the jail term can be served under house arrest.
  • Fines: The minimum fine amount for a second offense is $1,000 up to $1,500 plus court costs.
  • Alcohol evaluation: You will be required to attend an addiction facility alcohol evaluation program.
  • Test refusal: A second offense refusal will result in a 3 year license revocation. You will not be eligible for a restricted license.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock may be required by the court if you are granted a restricted license.
  • License suspension: A second offense conviction with a BAC level up to .16% will result in a license suspension period of up to 1 year and a 2 year suspension for a conviction of .16% or greater. Before the North Dakota DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a North Dakota SR22 policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.

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North Dakota Third Offense DUI

A North Dakota third offense DUI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A third offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A third offense conviction will result in 120 days to 1 year in jail. Up to 90% of the sentence can be served under house arrest. Up to 60 days of the jail sentence may be suspended with treatment and completion of an alcohol program.
  • Fines: The minimum fine amount for a third offense is $2,000 up to $3,000 plus court costs.
  • Alcohol evaluation: You will be required to attend an addiction facility alcohol evaluation program.
  • Test refusal: A third offense refusal will result in a 5 year license revocation if you have had 2 offenses within the previous 7 years. You will not be eligible for a restricted license.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock may be required by the court if you are granted a restricted license.
  • License suspension: A third offense conviction with a BAC level up to .16% will result in a license suspension period of up to 2 years and a 3 year suspension for a conviction of .16% or greater.  You will not be eligible for a work permit for a third offense conviction. Before the North Dakota DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a North Dakota SR22 policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.

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North Dakota Fourth Offense DUI

A North Dakota fourth offense DUI is a Misdemeanor offense.  A fourth offense conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

  • Jail time: A fourth offense conviction will result in a minimum up to 1 year in prison up to 5 years maximum. All but 1 year of the prison term may suspended with alcohol treatment.
  • Fines: The minimum fine amount for a fourth offense is $2,000 up to a maximum of $10,000 plus court costs.
  • Alcohol evaluation: You will be required to attend an addiction facility alcohol evaluation program.
  • Ignition interlock: An ignition interlock may be required by the court once your license is reinstated.
  • License suspension:  A fourth offense conviction with a BAC level up to .16% will result in a license suspension period of up to 2 year and a 3 year suspension for a conviction of .16% or greater.  You will not be eligible for a work permit for a fourth offense conviction. Before the North Dakota DMV will reinstate your license following your suspension period you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.  You will also have to complete your alcohol evaluation program and must not have had any violations within the last 2-year period before your license will be reinstated.

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North Dakota CDL DUI Laws

A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of North Dakota while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test is in violation of the state's laws regarding CDL's and will be arrested for DUI and your CDL will be revoked for a period of 1-year following a first offense violation.  A second CDL DUI offense will result in your CDL being revoked for life.

If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years. A second offense violation will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again.  A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

North Dakota DUI Under 21 Years of Age

Any person who is stopped and found to have a blood alcohol concentration level between .02% - .07% in the state of North Dakota is in violation of the state's "zero tolerance" law for under age drinking and driving.  For a first offense violation within a 5-year period your license will be suspended 91 days.  You may be eligible for a work permit after the first 30 days of the suspension if you qualify for one.  Work permits will not be issued to anyone under 18 years of age.



A second offense under the age of 21 within 5-years will result in a license suspension of 1-year and a third or subsequent violation within 5-years will result in a 2-year license suspension.

A first offense test refusal will result in a 1-year revocation, second offense test refusal within 5-years will result in a 3-year revocation and a third or subsequent test refusal offense within 5-years will result in a 4-year revocation.  Anyone who refuses a breath test will not be eligible for a work permit, you must wait until your revocation period is over before your license can be reinstated.

If a person under 21 is arrested for having a BAC of .08% or greater they will face the same charges as someone over 21 would be facing for the same offense.  You will be required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee before your license will be reinstated or before a work permit is issued.

You will also be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a North Dakota SR22 insurance policy before the DMV will reinstate your license.

North Dakota SR22 Requirements

Before the North Dakota DMV will reinstate your license following your revocation period, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your North Dakota SR22 insurance coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the North Dakota DMV of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the North Dakota DMV will immediately revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DMV before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of North Dakota and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in North Dakota for any less.Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other North Dakota DUI Resources

  • North Dakota First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • North Dakota SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about ND's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • North Dakota DUI Evaluation programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI evaluation classes listed by County.

  • North Dakota Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of ND's bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.