DUI Laws in North Dakota

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in North Dakota.

What are the penalties for a DUI in North Dakota?

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

4th Offense 5th Offense



10 days

120 days

180 days 5 years max.

Fines and Penalties

$500 to $750

$600 to $1,000

$2,000 min.

$2,000 min. $5,000 max.

License Suspension

91 to 180 days

1 year

2 to 3 years

2 to 3 years --

IID** Required



No No --

Lookback Period: 5 years (for second or third offenses) and 7 years (for fourth and subsequent offenses) (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in North Dakota?

Under 21


21 or older




** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in North Dakota?

North Dakota has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about North Dakota’s implied consent law.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

1 year license revocation

3 year license revocation (if one prior offense in last 5 years)

4 year license revocation (if two prior offenses in last 5 years)

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in North Dakota?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in North Dakota, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

Drinking and Driving Laws in North Dakota

In the State of North Dakota it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. This .08 limit is the same measurement used in all states and has become the benchmark limit for the "impaired" driver. North Dakota has lower limits for commercial drivers (.04) and a "zero tolerance" for drivers under the age of 21. The North Dakota DUI law includes driving on drugs, alcohol or both.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in North Dakota? It is almost impossible to determine with certainty how many drinks you can have before you reach the .08 percent BAC limit. There are charts and calculators that can help you calculate your BAC, however these tools do not consider all variables that contribute to a BAC score. There are other considerations, including eating habits during the time you were drinking, or if you have taken any medication while you were consuming alcoholic beverages. Taking antihistamines, for example while you are drinking could render a driver legally intoxicated after only one drink.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of North Dakota has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in North Dakota, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The 1st DUI conviction you receive will bring a minimum fine of $250 and a drivers license suspension of up to 180 days. If the court allows, you may receive a restricted drivers license after 30 days of your initial suspension. You may also be ordered to do a drug and alcohol evaluation.

The 2nd drunk driving conviction in the State of North Dakota will cost up to $500 for the initial fine. You will face a 1 year suspension of your drivers license without the opportunity to receive a restricted license or work permit. You will also receive a minimum 5 days in jail or, if allowed by the court, 30 days of community service.

The 3rd time you are arrested and convicted of drunk driving in North Dakota you will receive a 3 year drivers license suspension. The minimum fine will be no less than $1,000 and you will spend 60 days in Jail. The court will also order a referral to an addiction facility for an alcohol evaluation.

The 4th time you are arrested and convicted of a DUI in the State of North Dakota you will receive a 3 year drivers license suspension. Your driving privileges will only be restored after you have completed addiction treatment and have no record of any alcohol related offenses for two consecutive years after your treatment. The minimum fine will be no less than $1,000 and you will spend 180 days in Jail.

The 5th time you are arrested and convicted of drunk driving in North Dakota you will be charged with a Class "C" Felony. You will face up to 5 years imprisonment and you will be fined up to $5,000.


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