Minot DUI Attorney

Protect Yourself from Serious DUI Penalties in North Dakota

Whiskey & car keys - DUI in North Dakota

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in the State of North Dakota. Each year thousands of accidents are attributed to intoxicated drivers and many of these drivers find themselves in jail, facing steep fines, and unable to drive because of license revocation. Though you should never drive after consuming drugs or alcohol, mistakes can happen. If you are arrested for driving while under the influence you still have rights and Rowenhorst Law works hard to protect them.

Call our Minot DUI lawyer for the help you need. We can be reached at (701) 203-9220.

DUI Penalties in North Dakota

The state of North Dakota gives harsh penalties for DUI convictions depending on the number of prior DUI offenses that occurred within the previous seven years. With this in mind, the judge will then decide the amount of jail time and the amount of the fine.

Possible ND DUI Penalties:

  • For a first offense, you could face up to 30 days in jail as well as $500 to $1,500 fines
  • If charged with a second offense, you could face 10 to 30 days in jail with a $1,500 fine
  • For a third offense you could face 120 to 360 days in jail with a $2,000 to $3,000 fine

Should I Consent to a Sobriety Test?

The United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. It also affords you the right against self-incrimination. This means that police officers usually must have a sufficient reason for pulling you over and that in most cases you have the right to refuse a sobriety test.

There are penalties for refusing a sobriety test but generally we recommend that you do not submit to such tests. Sobriety tests can be confusing, conducted improperly, or misrepresent you and your level of sobriety. For example, those with a back or leg injury may appear to be intoxicated when asked to walk in a straight line.

What to do if asked to take a sobriety test:

  • Never become combative with an officer attempting to conduct a sobriety test.
  • Simply decline to take the test and request that you be allowed to leave.
  • The officer will then have to make a judgment call as to whether he or she believes you should be arrested or allowed to go.
  • If you are arrested do not make any further statements until you have contacted us and we are able to represent you during your interrogation.

Field Sobriety Tests

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - In this test the officer will observe their eyes as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for indicators in each eye that the person is intoxicated.
  • Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to take nine steps and the return back. The officer is looking for signs that the person is impaired such as not being able to keep their balance, starting before the instructions are finished or not following the instructions properly.
  • One-leg stand test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot in the air and hold it until told to put it down. The officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.

Aggravated Factors

Certain circumstances can elevate a DUI from a misdemeanor charge to a felony. Three of the aggravating factors include:

  • DUI with Injury – DUI with injury can be charged as a class C felony. You could face 1-5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000
  • DUI with Fatalities – If a death occurs as a result of DUI, this crime can be charged as a class A felony. You could face 3 to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000
  • Minor passengers – If a minor is in the vehicle while driving under the influence, it can be charged as a class C felony. You could face 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000

Alternatives to Impaired Driving in North Dakota

If you have consumed drugs or alcohol you should not drive. If you anticipate that you will be using drugs or alcohol arrange for someone else to get you home safely.

You will also want to consider some of the following options:

  • Minot public transportation: The City of Minot provides publicly supported transportation that may be available at reduced or no cost.
  • Shared car services: Shared car services (such as Lyft and Uber) are growing in popularity and are affordable alternatives to impaired driving.
  • Taxi services: Traditional taxi services are also available in Minot and they remain a safe and cost effective mode of transportation.

Let Rowenhorst Law Defend You

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in North Dakota, contact our Minot criminal defense lawyer immediately at (701) 203-9220 to discuss your rights. At Rowenhorst Law, we provide you with the compassionate and dedicated legal services that you deserve.

Facing DUI penalties in North Dakota? For a free 30-minute consultation, contact us today. We look forward to helping you work through the complex legal process.

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