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North Dakota Alcohol Related Laws and Regulations

Where to Buy Alcohol
Rather than state-operated businesses, privately owned retail liquor stores sell alcohol in North Dakota. The hours that the establishments may sell alcohol are regulated by local ordinances.

Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
The legal drinking age in North Dakota is 21, as in all other states. To work as a bartender or sell alcohol in a liquor store, you must be 21 as well. At age 19, you can work as a server in a restaurant that sells alcohol as long as you are being supervised by someone 21 or older.

Open Container Laws
If a bottle of alcohol has been previously opened, it must be transported in the trunk of the vehicle to obey open container laws.

BAC Limits
If a driver’s BAC (blood-alcohol content) tests at .08 percent or higher, they are considered ‘per se intoxicated.’ The state can then prosecute them for DUI (driving under the influence) without any further evidence than those test results.

More severe punishment applies if the driver is more than .18 percent BAC over .08 percent (the legal limit).

The state is able to mandate DUI penalties under the ‘zero tolerance laws’ for drivers who are under the age of 21 and have a BAC of .02 percent or more through chemical testing.

When a driver accepts a driver’s license, ‘implied consent laws’ are signed into effect. The ‘implied consent law’ means that the driver is required to comply with a police officer’s request for testing, either breath, blood, or urine, to determine their level of intoxication. If the driver refuses to cooperate, penalties will be given, which can be mandatory driver’s license suspension for up to one year.

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) mandates license suspension in North Dakota. The mandatory suspension is 90 days for the first DUI offense, and one year for both the second and third offense.

A driver faces their vehicle being confiscated either permanently or temporarily with a second DUI conviction. DUI offenders in North Dakota can also be required to engage in treatment and assessment for alcohol abuse. There is no penalty option of requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device.

After the fourth conviction, DUI is considered a felony.

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