According to a study published by U.S. Drug Test Centers, North Dakota ranks second among all states for DUI arrests. The state has received this dubious honor for the past four years in a row and is one of three states to see an increase in DUI arrests over the past 10 years. Those in North Dakota arrested and charged with DUI face harsh penalties if convicted, which is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
North Dakota’s DUI arrest statistics
U.S. Drug Test Centers used FBI crime data to produce its report. In 2018, North Dakota’s DUI arrest rate was 678.4 per 100,000, compared to the national average of 330 per 100,000. The state’s average has increased by over 6% since 2009, and North Dakota has been in the top 10 of DUI nationally since 2010.
The state’s Attorney General’s Office states that around 16% of all adult arrests were for DUI, and the average blood alcohol content (BAC) of drivers was nearly .16, which is twice the legal limit. Alcohol impairment was a factor in around 43% of fatal vehicle accidents in the state, and many researchers point to the state’s large rural geography as one reason. Metropolitan areas, such as Grand Forks and Fargo, offer better access to rideshare services like Uber, whereas outlying communities do not. Incidentally, Grand Forks reported an overall decrease in DUI arrests of 8.4% from 2009 to 2018, and the city’s police department credits rideshare services as the reason for the decline.
DUI arrests dropping
Some encouraging news — North Dakota has seen a decline overall in DUI arrests since 2014, at nearly 28%. The state has also seen a decrease in fatal DUI accidents. Anyone in the Peace Garden State who has been arrested and charged with DUI needs to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to gain a full understanding of their rights and options and to get help obtaining the most favorable outcome possible.