DUI in the Roughrider State – How Much Will It Cost You?
Drinking and driving is a very serious act and one that is not only dangerous, but also very expensive for those who are convicted. Regardless of whether or not the traffic stop and the arrest happens in Bismarck, Fargo, Williston, Minot, Grand Forks or anywhere else in North Dakota, the penalties for being convicted are all the same. Those who are found to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent of higher will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and could potentially face financial ruin.
First Offender Penalties for DUI in North Dakota
When it comes to the penalties for DUI in the state of North Dakota, the financial penalties are higher than many other states even for first time offenders. In addition to having to pay high fines, first time offenders are also faced with handling rather lengthy licenses suspensions. The exact penalties for first time offenders in this state are outlined here:
- No Jail Time Required
- Fines Between $500 and $750
- License Suspension Between 91 Days and 180 Days
- No Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirement
North Dakota also has a five-year lookback period, which means if individuals have additional DUI convictions within the last five years, they are considered repeat offenders. The penalties for repeat offenses increase with the number of previous offenses they have – for example, those on their second DUI offense will need to pay a fine between $600 and $1,000, and those who are on their third DUI offense will have a minimum fine of $2,000.
A DUI Will Cost You Even Before You Are Convicted
The fines outlined above are not the only financial repercussions offenders will have when it comes to drinking and driving. Even before the individuals are formally charged, they could potentially face a slew of different costs – for example, when they are pulled over and arrested, their vehicle will likely be towed and stored at an impound lot. Offenders, even if they are not convicted, are responsible for paying the towing and storage fees for the vehicle in order to have it released back to them.
In some DUI cases, especially those with aggravating circumstances, offenders are booked into the local jail and held with bail. This means that bail money will need to paid in order for them to be released. Regardless if individuals have the money on their own or need to enlist the help of loved ones or a bail bondsman, they need to pay that money if they wish to be released from jail – this amount can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, but it is generally very high.
Most DUI offenders seek the legal counsel of a DUI attorney to help try their case and either have the charges dropped or arrange a plea bargain for a lesser charge. If individuals can afford a private attorney, then they should opt for one, considering that public defenders are often over-worked and may not be experts in the DUI field. Lawyers’ fees will vary greatly between professionals and between firms, but offenders should expect to pay a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for those services.
A DUI Will Cost You Even After You Are Convicted
If and when offenders are found guilty of DUI, they then have to deal with the fines and penalties outlined earlier. As mentioned previously, a first time DUI offender in the state of North Dakota will need to pay fines between $500 and $750, an amount that will only increase if they have any previous offenses. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the penalties and fines for DUI vary between states, so this amount may not be the same in another area.
In addition to paying the fines associated with Driving Under the Influence, offenders also have to deal with an increase in their car insurance rates. While the amount of the increase varies between insurance providers and across state lines, the increase in price for insurance policies is inevitable considering drinking and driving is such a risky driving behavior. Since individuals’ risk of making a claim on their policy increases with a DUI, the insurance company needs to raise their monthly insurance rates in order to offset the increased risk the policy holder has to make a claim.
In comparison with other states, North Dakota is relatively harsh when it comes to punishing policy holders who have been convicted of DUI. Policy holders in North Dakota can expect to see their car insurance rates increase by an average of 108 percent, which adds an additional $100 to their monthly premium payments. As mentioned, this is simply the state average – some insurance providers will increase rates more or less depending on their specific calculations for dealing with DUIs.
Avoiding the Cost of DUI in the North Dakota
In the end, it is possible for DUI offenders to pay upwards of $40,000 for their convictions – and this figure does not include any wages they may have lost due to missing work or the amount of money they may have spent on using public transportation. Not many individuals have the money in their savings to spare to pay for DUI mistakes, so avoiding this is the best possible solution. Never get behind the wheel after drinking and always use public transportation to get home safely after a night out.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.