I just got arrested for a State of North Dakota DUI charge. What happens next?
ISSUE ONE:The North Dakota Implied Consent / Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Proceeding: Under North Dakota law, any person who operates a motor vehicle on a highway or on public or private areas to which the public has a right of access for vehicular use in the State of North Dakota is deemed to have given consent, and must consent to a chemical test, or tests, of the blood, breath, saliva, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol, other drug, or combination thereof, content of the blood. This is known as North Dakota s implied consent law.
Pursuant to North Dakota s implied consent law, your North Dakota drivers license (or your right to drive in North Dakota if you re not a North Dakota licensed driver) was most likely suspended or revoked for anywhere from 91 days to one year or more for failing (suspension) or refusing (revocation) a chemical (breath / blood / urine) test. This suspension / revocation typically starts on the 25th day following your arrest.
Read your paperwork carefully. If you act quickly―generally within 10 days of your arrest―you can request a hearing to challenge your proposed administrative suspension / revocation. After a timely request, an administrative hearing will be scheduled within 30 days of your arrest. About 25% of administrative suspensions / revocations are dismissed after a hearing.
Speak to your North Dakota DWI attorney for more information about contesting your administrative (implied consent) license suspension / revocation.
ISSUE TWO:The North Dakota DUI / APC (Actual Physical Control) Criminal Case: Separate from the administrative license proceeding is the criminal charge either for driving under the influence (DUI) or actual physical control (APC). Under North Dakota s law, you may not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle upon a highway or upon public or private areas to which the public has a right of access for vehicular use in this state if any of the following apply:
a. You have an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent at the time of the performance of a chemical test within two hours after the driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle. Sometimes known as a per se DUI.
b. You are under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
c. You are under the influence of any drug or substance or combination of drugs or substances to a degree which renders you incapable of safely driving.
d. You are under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drugs or substances to a degree which renders you incapable of safely driving.
Important: The implied consent / administrative license suspension proceeding and the criminal DUI / APC case are completely separate from one another.
Will my North Dakota driver license be suspended or revoked?
Your North Dakota driver license (or your right to drive in North Dakota if you do not have a valid North Dakota license) may be suspended or revoked in the implied consent proceeding for failing or for refusing a chemical test for alcohol and / or drugs. For a first offense (or at least the first offense within the last five years), you face a suspension of between 91 and 180 days for failing a chemical test or a revocation for one year for refusing a chemical test. Longer suspensions and revocations are imposed if you have a prior offense(s) within the past five years.
PRIOR OFFENSES W/IN PAST 5 YEARS
BAC .08-.17% BAC .18% +
4 year revocation
Note 1: Test failures result in license suspensions; test refusals result in license revocations.
Note 2: If this is your first DUI / APC offense, the refusal may be “cured” by pleading guilty to DUI / APC charge and filing the required affidavit with NDDOT within 25 days. NDDOT will then impose a 91-day or a 180-day suspension instead of the 1 year license revocation. You may then be eligible for a temporary restricted license after serving 30 days of the suspension.
Again, you may challenge this proposed suspension / revocation in an administrative hearing this revocation if you make a timely hearing request.
I have a commercial driver license (CDL). What will happen to my CDL?
A North Dakota DUI / APC conviction results in a one year suspension of your commercial driver license regardless of whether you were driving commercially at the time. A second DUI / APC conviction will result in a permanent revocation of your ND CDL.
What happens if I get caught driving while my license is revoked?
Driving while your license is suspended or revoked following a test failure or refusal should be avoided, as it is a separate misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted, you will face penalties including a minimum of four days in jail. NDDOT may also extend your suspension / revocation for an additional period of time.
I really need to drive. Will I be able to get a temporary restricted license / work permit / occupational / conditional / probationary permit?
If you have no previous offenses within the past five years, you may be able to receive a temporary restricted license work permit that will allow you to drive to work and back. You may apply for a work permit after you have served 30 days of your license suspension.
What is the difference between a DUI, DWI, OWI, OUI etc.
These terms are all acronyms that refer to the crime commonly known as drunk driving. Different states have different names for the crime. For example, in Wisconsin the acronym OWI (operating while impaired / intoxicated) is used; Ohio often uses the term OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired); Minnesota uses the term DWI (driving while intoxicated); Oregon uses the term DUII (driving under the influence of an intoxicant). Montana and South Dakota use the charge DUI (driving under the influence).
North Dakota law also uses the terms: driving under the influence (DUI) and actual physical control (APC). In this website, the terms DUI and APC are used interchangeably.
Is a DWI offense in North Dakota a misdemeanor or felony charge?
In North Dakota, a DUI / APC is usually a misdemeanor charge. However, a fifth or subsequent offense within a seven year period is a Class C felony.
What type of penalties might I face if I am convicted of an North Dakota DUI / Aggravated DWI charge?
Upon conviction of an North Dakota drunk driving offense, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties. A range of penalties is set forth below:
NORTH DAKOTA DUI / APC PENALTY CHART