On April 24 and 25, the North Dakota House and Senate passed a bill that, when enacted, will dramatically increase drunk driving fines, jail times, and other penalties for convicted drunk driving offenders.
Under the new legislation, first-time drunk driving offenders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeding the state’s legal limit of 0.08 will face a $500 fine, which doubles the current fine. The fine increases to $750 and accompanies community service or two days in jail if the driver’s BAC is over 0.16.
Created to crack down on drunk driving in North Dakota, the legislation also creates harsher penalties for repeat offenders. For example, drunk drivers convicted for a second DUI offense will be required to pay a $1,500 fine, spend a minimum of 10 days in jail, and participate in a 24/7 sobriety program. Whether required to visit the local police station twice a day for alcohol testing or wear a device that monitors alcohol consumption, offenders will be monitored every day of the probation year.
Jail times also double from current prison sentence lengths so that by the fourth DUI conviction, drunk driving offenders are charged with a class C felony punishable by one year in jail.
Other provisions of the legislation include:
- 24/7 sobriety program for first-time drunk driving offenders under the age of 18
- DUI charge for refusal to submit to alcohol testing
- Funding for an underage drinking prevention program