Choosing to drive after drinking can have detrimental consequences. It can ruin more than just the drunk driver's life. We as a society are aware of the negative impact of drunk driving. Yet, it still seems to be an issue in North Dakota.

According to backgroundchecks.org/, North Dakota had 5,136 DUI arrests in 2019 (as of November, 2019) and 29 drunk driving-related fatalities. North Dakota is number four on the list of states with the worst DUI problems. It comes in fourth behind 3) Montana, 2) South Dakota, and 1) Wyoming.

While there are numerous reasons that drunk driving is a problem, I wanted to look at what happens if you get caught drinking and driving.  I went to nd.gov to get information on the legal side of driving while intoxicated. Check out the website's exact break down of getting a DUI.

North Dakota Penalties for Driving Impaired:

1st Offense

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • $500 fine if below 0.16 blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
  • Two days imprisonment and $750 fine if BAC 0.16 or greater
  • 91 day suspension if below 0.18 BAC
  • 180 day suspension if 0.18 BAC or greater
  • Addiction evaluation

2nd Offense in 7 years

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Ten days imprisonment and $1,500 fine
  • 360 days' participation in the 24/7 program
  • 365 day suspension if below 0.18 BAC
  • Two year suspension if 0.18 BAC or greater
  • Addiction evaluation

3rd Offense in 7 years

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • 120 days imprisonment and $2,000 fine
  • 360 days' participation in the 24/7 program
  • 360 days' supervised probation
  • Two year suspension if below 0.18 BAC
  • Three year suspension if 0.18 BAC or greater
  • Addiction evaluation

4th and Subsequent Offenses in 15 years

  • Class C felony
  • One year and one day imprisonment and $2,000 fine
  • Two years' participation in 24/7 program
  • Two years' supervised probation
  • Addiction evaluation

Tips for detecting impaired drivers:

  • Problems maintaining proper lane position
  • Speed and braking problems
  • Driving in wrong lane
  • Driving without lights at night
  • Failure to signal
  • Judgment problems

Other Possible Penalties:

Penalty for a DUI with a minor in the vehicle is up to one year imprisonment and/or a $2,000 fine.

Refusal to submit to a chemical test as required by law may be considered a crime and may result in revocation of your driving privileges for 180 days to 3 years.

Criminal Vehicular Injury results in up to five years imprisonment.

Criminal Vehicular Homicide results in up to 20 years imprisonment.

The website also says that there is zero tolerance for anyone under 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle when blood alcohol level is measured at 0.02 or above. Also, if you happen to see an impaired driver on the road, you are advised to call 9-1-1 to report the driver.