2024 DUI Blood-Alcohol Limits in North Dakota

Drink and drive laws in North Dakota

In North Dakota, it is illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches or surpasses 0.08% (equivalent to 80 milliliters of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood). Driving with a BAC at or above this threshold constitutes a DUI (driving under the influence) offense.

What is the Legal Alcohol Limit for Driving in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the legal alcohol limit for drivers varies based on the category of the driver and the type of vehicle being operated. The state enforces specific blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to ensure the safety of all road users. Below are the defined legal limits for different categories of drivers:

  • Standard Drivers: The “per se” alcohol concentration limit is set at 0.08 percent.
  • Commercial Vehicle Operators: For those operating commercial vehicles, the alcohol concentration limit is lower, at 0.04 percent.
  • Underage Drivers (Under 21 Years Old): For young operators under 21 years of age, the state enforces a stricter alcohol concentration limit of 0.02 percent.

These limits are put in place to reduce the risks associated with impaired driving and to promote road safety across the state.

Drink and Drive Penalties and Punishments in North Dakota

In North Dakota, the consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) are serious and vary depending on the number of offenses and the level of alcohol concentration in the driver’s blood. The state enforces strict penalties to discourage impaired driving and enhance road safety. Below is an overview of the penalties and punishments for DUI offenses in North Dakota:

  • First Offense:
    • Minimum fine of $500.
    • Mandatory addiction evaluation by a licensed addiction treatment program.
    • If the alcohol concentration is 0.16% or higher, it’s considered an aggravated first offense, leading to a minimum fine of $750 and at least two days of imprisonment.
  • Second Offense within Seven Years:
    • At least ten days of imprisonment, with 48 hours served consecutively.
    • A fine of $1,500.
    • Mandatory addiction evaluation.
    • Minimum of 360 days’ participation in the 24/7 sobriety program as a probation condition.
  • Third Offense within Seven Years:
    • At least 120 days of imprisonment.
    • A fine of at least $2,000.
    • Mandatory addiction evaluation.
    • At least 360 days of supervised probation and participation in the 24/7 sobriety program.
  • Fourth or Subsequent Offense within Fifteen Years:
    • At least one year and one day of imprisonment.
    • A fine of at least $2,000.
    • Mandatory addiction evaluation.
    • At least two years’ supervised probation and participation in the 24/7 sobriety program.

Additional conditions and penalties include suspension of sentence under specific conditions, mandatory treatment if required, potential vehicle seizure for repeat offenders, enhanced penalties for causing injury or death, and special considerations for offenses involving minors.

It’s crucial for residents and drivers in North Dakota to stay informed about the latest DUI laws and penalties. Laws can evolve, and staying updated ensures compliance and enhances safety for everyone on the road. For the most current information, always check the official state website of North Dakota.

This summary highlights the structured approach North Dakota takes towards DUI offenses, emphasizing both punishment and rehabilitation to address the issue of impaired driving comprehensively.

How to Determine If Your Alcohol Blood Limit Is Legal in North Dakota

In North Dakota, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers is strictly enforced to prevent impaired driving. Law enforcement officers use breathalyzer tests and blood tests to accurately measure a driver’s BAC level. These tests are conducted to ensure drivers adhere to the legal BAC limits: 0.08% for standard drivers, 0.04% for commercial vehicle operators, and 0.02% for drivers under 21.

As an experienced phlebotomist with a decade of experience, I recommend two methods to help you estimate your BAC level and ensure you’re within legal limits before deciding to drive.

  1. Use a High-Quality Alcohol Breathalyzer:
    • For personal use, the BACtrack S80 stands out as the most reliable option available in North Dakota. Its professional-grade accuracy is backed by DOT & NHTSA approval and FDA 510(k) clearance. This device can offer a precise estimate of your BAC, helping you make informed decisions about driving. I strongly suggest keeping a BACtrack S80 in your vehicle, as it can be a crucial tool in preventing impaired driving. It’s a common issue in North Dakota for individuals to misjudge their alcohol levels, leading to risky decisions.
  2. Utilize a BAC Calculator:
    • Together with fellow phlebotomists and web developers, I’ve developed an online BAC calculator. This tool is designed to help you estimate your BAC level based on the quantity of alcohol consumed, your weight, and the time frame of your drinking session. While this calculator is a helpful resource, it’s important to remember that individual factors can affect BAC, and the results should be used as a general guideline rather than an exact measurement.

Both these methods provide valuable insights into your BAC level, but it’s crucial to remember that they do not offer 100% accuracy. Factors such as metabolism, food intake, and individual health conditions can influence the results. Therefore, if either method indicates you are near or over the 0.08% limit, it’s safest to avoid driving.

By taking proactive steps to understand and monitor your BAC level, you contribute to safer roads in North Dakota. Remember, the best practice is always to plan ahead and avoid driving if you’ve consumed alcohol.

Ways to Avoid Driving with a High BAC in North Dakota

Drink beer and drive in North Dakota

Driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) not only puts you and others at risk but also has legal consequences in North Dakota. Fortunately, there are reliable alternatives to ensure you get home safely without compromising your safety or that of others. Here are some effective ways to avoid driving under the influence:

  1. Utilize Ride-Sharing and Taxi Services:
    • Modern technology offers convenient solutions like Uber and Lyft, which are accessible through smartphone apps. These services provide a safe and efficient way to get home without having to get behind the wheel yourself. Additionally, local taxi companies are an excellent resource. In Fargo, for instance, Doyle’s Yellow Checker Cab offers dependable service, while in Bismarck, Minute Rides is a reliable option. These services are quick to book and can save you from making a decision that could lead to DUI charges.
  2. Opt for Designated Driver Services:
    • If you find yourself having driven to a venue and then consuming alcohol, you might be hesitant to leave your car overnight due to safety concerns or the inconvenience of retrieving it the next day. In such cases, designated driver services are a fantastic alternative. Companies like Ashtown Taxi (Ashtown Transportation LLC) in Fargo or Bismarck Transportation Services in Bismarck specialize in driving you home in your own vehicle. To find a designated driver service in your area, a simple Google search for “designated driver service” followed by your city name will provide options.

These options not only offer convenience but also peace of mind, knowing that you are making a responsible choice. By planning ahead and choosing alternatives to driving after drinking, you contribute to the safety and well-being of the entire community. Remember, the goal is to enjoy social events without putting yourself or others at risk on the road. With these solutions, you can ensure a safe end to your evening in North Dakota.


Sticking to DUI Laws in North Dakota: Sad Statistics

In North Dakota, drunk driving is a significant concern, with 35% of traffic fatalities in 2020 involving drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. To prevent such incidents, the state enforces DUI laws.

To avoid impaired driving, consider alternatives like taxis, Uber, or designated driver services if you’ve been drinking. Always check your BAC with a reliable breathalyzer before driving, ensuring it’s within legal limits.

For the latest DUI laws and details, visit North Dakota’s official website. It’s crucial to dispel myths about alcohol’s effects on driving and prioritize road safety. Never drive under the influence, as even a few drinks can impair your abilities. Stay informed about DUI laws by checking the North Dakota Department of Transportation website.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.