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Impaired Driving

Impaired driving crashes are preventable.

Alcohol and drug-related crashes are 100% preventable. Many lives would be saved in North Dakota each year if every driver consistently makes the choice to always drive sober or to designate a sober driver.

Yet 184 people have died in alcohol-related crashes in North Dakota over the past 5 years. Alcohol is a factor in about 38% of fatal crashes in North Dakota annually. The percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes shows an overall decreasing trend during the most recent five-year period (2018-2022).

In 2022, 38% of motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota were alcohol-related.

North Dakota Law for Driving Under the Influence 

A person may not drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs while having a blood alcohol level content (BAC) of .08 or more.

  • Refusal to submit to a chemical test as required by law may be considered a crime and may result in revocation of driving privileges for 180 days to 3 years.
  • Penalty for a DUI with a minor in the vehicle is imprisonment for 360 days and/or a $3,000 fine.
  • Criminal Vehicular Injury results in up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Criminal Vehicular Homicide results in up to 20 years imprisonment.

View more about North Dakota penalties for driving impaired. 

North Dakota Law Enforcement

North Dakota law enforcement agencies have various strategies they use to keep impaired drivers off the roads and keep the roads safe for all roadway users. Below are enforcement efforts they conduct above their normal patrol duties:

Saturation Patrol: Active patrols that enforce impaired driving laws, often in identified high-risk crash areas.  

Sobriety Checkpoint: Concentrated enforcement efforts to identify and arrest impaired drivers. The area is selected based on high alcohol and/or drug-related incidences and will be established and documented in advance of each operation.

High Visibility Enforcement (HVE): A traffic safety approach designed to create deterrence and change unlawful traffic behavior. HVE combines highly visible and proactive law enforcement targeting a specific traffic safety issue and/or campaign (Click It or Ticket; Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over; U Drive. U Text. U Pay.).

What can you do to be a responsible driver?

  • Always drive sober and alert.
  • Don't let your family members or friends drive impaired.
  • Never ride with a driver who has been drinking alcohol.
  • Before drinking alcohol, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
  • If you have been drinking alcohol, call a family member, friend, cab or ride service for a sober ride home. 
  • When you see an impaired driver, always call 9-1-1 and report it.
Always wear your seat belt - it's your best protection against impaired drivers.