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Williston North Dakota Legal Blog

What is a field sobriety test for drivers suspected of DUI?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began research in 1975, trying to find a standardized test to detect whether a driver was under the influence of alcohol. NHTSA developed tests that were initially designed to detect a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10%.

By 1981, most states lowered the legal BAC level to the current 0.08% in North Dakota and Montana, and NHTSA recommended six sobriety tests at that time. The agency later published its Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) battery of three tests in 1999.

North Dakota might now keep your DUI secret

Early this year, the North Dakota House and Senate both passed, and the Governor signed, a bill that seals the record of someone convicted of a DUI after 7 years, under certain conditions. The new law allows a person to move on without being followed through life by the conviction.

The debate on the bill also illustrated some of the other consequences of having a mark on your record and of having a clean record.

DUI checkpoints: Are they legal?

Drunk driving laws are rigorously enforced in North Dakota and nationwide. They prevent intoxicated drivers from hurting themselves and others in a crash. However, enforcement efforts can be inconsistent and unfair. Further, there continues to be debate over whether certain laws are effective.

This is one argument that prevented a bill aimed at changing North Dakota’s drunk driving laws from getting enough votes in the state Senate this March.

Four ways to fight a DUI conviction

An arrest for DUI can have serious consequences in North Dakota. You face criminal charges, possible jail time and a license suspension. If convicted, you will have a criminal record, which can cause problems when applying for jobs or looking for housing.

However, getting picked up for DUI does not have to lead to a conviction. You are entitled to a legal defense against the charges. Here are four possible ways to fight a DUI conviction.

Mistakes to avoid and what to expect after your first DUI

Being arrested for a DUI, especially for the first time, can be stressful and confusing. Most likely, you never believed this was ever going to happen to you. But now it has, and you should make sure you don’t make matters worse.

When you do not know what is happening during a DUI, you can lack confidence and try to overcompensate your emotions. This can damage your case and keep you from the resolution you are hoping for. If you are arrested for DUI, here are some mistakes you should avoid making: