Facing a North Dakota DUI charge is scary, frustrating, and confusing. You face the possibility of fines and jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license. The length of your license suspension will depend on whether this your first DUI, whether you submitted to a chemical test, your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and whether you are eligible for and participate in North Dakota’s 24/7 sobriety program. A criminal defense lawyer can help you challenge the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, assist you in obtaining a temporary “work permit” license, and defend you against a North Dakota DUI charge.
If you have been charged with physical control or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in North Dakota you have 10 days to request an administrative hearing to challenge the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license. If you do not request the hearing within 10 days you will have waived your right to challenge the revocation or suspension of your driving privileges. Once you request the administrative hearing it must be held within 30 days. A lawyer can help, but because time is of the essence it is important that you do not delay in hiring a criminal defense lawyer after a DUI charge.
If you requested an administrative hearing to contest your license suspension and your license was suspended or revoked after the hearing, you may appeal the results of the decision within seven days. However, while the appeal is pending you will not be eligible for a work permit license.
If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was .08% or higher or you refuse a chemical test, your driver’s license will be suspended. Under North Dakota’s implied consent law, when you receive your driver’s license you are deemed to have consented to a chemical test to determine the presence of alcohol or other controlled substances. The length of a license suspension after a DUI charge will depend on whether you submitted to the test and your BAC level.
If you did submit to a chemical test and your BAC was .08% or higher:
If the results of the BAC test were .16% or higher, your license may be suspended for:
If you refused to submit to the chemical test your driver’s license will be suspended for:
Thirty days after a DUI charge you may be eligible for a temporary “work permit” driver’s license that allows you to travel to and from work at specified hours to perform your job. If you participate in the 24/7 sobriety program you may be eligible for a “work permit” in 15 days. You are not eligible for a work permit license if you refused to submit to a chemical test or if you have prior DUI offenses.
Your criminal defense lawyer can assist you in requesting a temporary “work permit” license while a DUI charge is pending.
If you choose or are required to participate in the 24/7 sobriety program you may be eligible for a restricted “work permit” license within 15 days after the revocation of your license.
By enrolling in the 24/7 sobriety program you will either be placed on an alcohol monitoring device (a SCRAM bracelet) or you will be required to go to a local law enforcement center twice a day to submit to a portable breath test that will detect the presence of alcohol.
If you refused the chemical test and your license was suspended, you can cure the refusal by pleading guilty to the offense within 25 days of receiving your temporary driver’s license, and filing an affidavit with the North Dakota DOT stating that you agree to plead guilty and waive your right to challenge the license revocation. If you cure your refusal, your license will not be revoked, but it will still be suspended consistent with the number of prior DUI offenses you had in the last seven years. You are eligible for a temporary “work permit” after your license has been suspended for 30 days.
Defending yourself against a North Dakota DUI charge is difficult, and you should not attempt it without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Remember that in order to convict you, law enforcement must follow the law, abide by applicable standards to stop and arrest people, and properly administer any chemical tests. If law enforcement did not meet these standards, you cannot be convicted. An experienced DUI defense attorney knows the standards that law enforcement must follow and can challenge the circumstances of the stop and the way the tests were administered to avoid a conviction.
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