North Dakota's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in North Dakota.

North Dakota’s drugged driving law is at North Dakota Century Code Section 39-08-01. A person cannot operate a vehicle in North Dakota if “that person is under the influence of any drug or substance or combination of drugs or substances to a degree which renders that person incapable of safely driving.”

In other words, in North Dakota it’s a crime to drive while incapacitated or under the influence of a drug. No blood testing standard is established in North Dakota – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor.

What drugs are prohibited?

North Dakota’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of any “Drug or substance.” (A listing of controlled substances regulated by federal law are found at the Drug Enforcement Administration website.) It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance unless the drug was used only as directed or cautioned by an attending physician or other practitioner who legally prescribed or dispensed the drug to the driver.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in North Dakota?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in North Dakota will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about North Dakota’s DUI laws.

Do North Dakota drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Yes, there is an implied consent rule for blood, saliva, and urine testing. The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.

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