No driver wants to interact with law enforcement, especially on suspicion of drunk driving. However, state officials are serious about reducing the high numbers of traffic fatalities related to the excessive alcoholic intake of people who drive on North Dakota roads.
Penalties for a DUI conviction range from fines to jail time to license suspension, and the latter may be especially problematic for anyone who depends on driving to get to school or work.
Breaking down the numbers
If a test of your blood alcohol concentration level shows 0.08 percent or higher, you can be charged with driving under the influence. For a first offense, you will pay a fine of at least $500 and receive a driver's license suspension for three to six months. For a second offense, the fee can climb to $1,500, you can lose your license for a year and the judge can sentence you to jail time of up to 10 days. Penalties only increase from this point, with a misdemeanor becoming a felony upon conviction of a fourth offense.
The 24/7 Sobriety Program
If you are a repeat offender, you must participate in the 24/7 Sobriety Program. If yours is a second or third offense, you must go through the program for the period of one year. For a fourth offense or higher, the period will be two years. The program requires participants to undergo alcohol testing twice a day, every day.
Think before you drive
The best way to keep your driver's license active is to drive responsibly – and soberly. When you add up the costs involved in a conviction for driving under the influence, you are looking at a combination of criminal and civil fees, the cost of legal representation and the price of an ignition interlock device, if the judge so orders. Add to that a lengthy license suspension and you might conclude that risking a DUI charge is simply not worth it.