People get arrested for driving under the influence of (DUI) every day in North Dakota. Most people facing DUI charges will worry about whether they will go to jail and how courts might require them to take time off of work.
Some people will plead guilty to speed up the proceedings. Others might hope that entering a guilty plea will inspire leniency in the judge in charge of sentencing. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a guilty plea will result in diminished penalties.
The consequences you face will largely be at the discretion of the judge presiding over the case. In addition to the potential for jail time, fines and even addiction evaluation and treatment, it is also likely that a North Dakota DUI charge will have an impact on your driver’s license.
A conviction carries a mandatory suspension of your license
If you plead guilty or get convicted of a DUI in North Dakota, there will be an automatic suspension of your license as a result. Depending on what previous offenses you have on your record and how much alcohol you had in your system, you could lose your license for anywhere from 91 days to three years.
The more previous impaired driving charges you have and the more aggravating factors involved in this offense, the longer the likely suspension of your license. If you have a commercial driver’s license, even if you got pulled over in your personal vehicle, a DUI conviction could end your eligibility for commercial driving.
Can you regain the right to drive before the end of your suspension?
In some cases, those who go through special administrative hearings can secure a temporary restricted license while facing DUI charges or after a conviction. If you can demonstrate to the courts that loss of your license puts you at risk of losing your job or causes medical, financial or legal hardship for members of your family, the courts may issue you a restricted license for necessary driving, like your commute to work.
Protecting your license, especially if you drive as part of your job, can be a strong reason to consider defending against a pending DUI.