Ignition Interlock Laws in North Dakota: Essential Information for Drivers

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are becoming increasingly popular as a means of reducing drunk driving incidents and ensuring the safety of both drivers and pedestrians. These devices, often mandated by law for individuals convicted of driving under the influence, are designed to prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds a preset limit. In North Dakota, the implementation and effectiveness of ignition interlock laws are important in the ongoing effort to curb alcohol-impaired driving incidents.

Like many other states, North Dakota requires ignition interlock devices for certain offenders as a measure to prevent repeat offenses. This policy has attracted attention and support from various organizations, as the use of IIDs has proven to be effective in reducing the likelihood of repeat DUI offenses while the device is installed. By examining the current ignition interlock laws in North Dakota and their impact on road safety, we can assess the effectiveness of these measures and explore potential improvements for a safer driving environment in the state.

Ignition Interlock Law Basics

Definition and Purpose

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle that prevents the engine from starting if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is above a certain limit. The purpose of IIDs is to reduce drunk driving incidents and enhance road safety.

In North Dakota, the ignition interlock law aims to closely monitor and restrict the driving privileges of those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). These devices play a crucial role in preventing alcohol-impaired drivers from re-offending while allowing them to maintain their daily routine.

Offenses That Require Interlock Device

According to North Dakota law, the use of an IID is mandatory for certain DUI/DWI offenses. The following scenarios may require the installation of an ignition interlock device:

  • First-time offenders: If the driver’s BAC is 0.16% or higher, a court may require the installation of an IID for a minimum of 180 days as a condition of license reinstatement.

  • Repeat offenders: If a driver has two or more DUI/DWI convictions within a seven-year period, the court may require the installation of an IID for at least one year as part of their license reinstatement process.

The ignition interlock program not only encourages safer driving habits but also contributes to the overall reduction of alcohol-related crashes on North Dakota roads. While the laws may vary across states, North Dakota demonstrates a strong commitment to ensuring road safety through enforcement and effective use of IID technology.

Installation and Maintenance

Interlock Device Providers

There are several ignition interlock device providers that service North Dakota. These providers are responsible for installing, maintaining, and calibrating Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (BAIID) for individuals who are required to have them installed in their vehicles. It’s essential for drivers to choose a reputable provider to ensure they are receiving reliable and accurate devices.

Installation Process

The installation process for an ignition interlock device typically consists of scheduling an appointment with an authorized service provider. During the appointment, a certified technician will install the BAIID into the offender’s vehicle. The BAIID is connected to the vehicle’s starter system, preventing it from starting if the user’s breath sample has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above a predetermined limit.

Some important points for the installation process include:

  • Vehicles must be in proper working condition before the installation
  • Bring valid identification to the installation appointment
  • Plan for the installation to take a few hours

Maintenance and Calibration

Regular maintenance and calibration of ignition interlock devices are essential for ensuring accurate results and functionality. Calibration is the process of adjusting the BAIID’s internal sensors to accurately measure breath alcohol concentrations. Maintenance may involve checking the device’s battery, wiring connections, and overall condition.

In North Dakota, ignition interlock devices must be serviced and calibrated by an authorized service provider at least every 60 days. Failure to comply with these maintenance requirements can result in penalties and extension of the ignition interlock requirement period.

When attending a maintenance and calibration appointment, users should bring their vehicle and any necessary paperwork or identification. It’s essential to adhere to the scheduled appointments and ensure correct maintenance to avoid any complications or penalties.

Mandatory Participation Periods

First-time Offenders

In North Dakota, ignition interlock devices are required for first-time DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16% or higher. Mandatory participation in the ignition interlock program for these offenders lasts for a minimum of 180 days 1. The primary aim of this program is to reduce the risk of drunk driving while allowing individuals the ability to drive safely and legally.

Some key points about the ignition interlock program for first-time offenders:

  • Minimum BAC of 0.16% required for participation
  • Mandatory 180-day participation period
  • Helps to reduce drunk driving risks

Repeat Offenders

For repeat DUI offenders, mandatory participation in the ignition interlock program lasts for a longer period. The duration of the mandatory participation depends on the number of previous DUI convictions, with progressively longer periods for a higher number of convictions 2.

Here is a breakdown of mandatory ignition interlock device participation periods for repeat offenders in North Dakota:

  • Second DUI conviction: Minimum of 1-year participation
  • Third DUI conviction: Minimum of 2 years participation
  • Fourth or subsequent DUI conviction: Minimum of 3-year participation

In conclusion, ignition interlock laws in North Dakota involve mandatory participation periods that depend on the number of prior DUI convictions and the BAC level of the offender. The aim of these laws is to minimize the risks of drunk driving while still providing individuals the opportunity to drive safely and legally.

Costs and Financial Assistance

Interlock Device Expenses

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are important in preventing drunk driving and ensuring road safety. The cost of an IID in North Dakota mainly consists of an installation fee and a monthly maintenance fee. On average, IIDs can cost about $3 to $4 per day, which is equivalent to the cost of a typical drink source.

Apart from the daily fees, there might be additional expenses related to the device, such as for calibration, removal, or court-ordered fees. It is essential to factor in these costs when considering an IID installation in your vehicle.

Low-Income Assistance

Recognizing that some individuals may struggle to afford the costs associated with an IID, financial assistance programs might be available to help eligible participants. These programs can be funded through various sources such as fees collected from interlock participants and/or interlock vendors, federal government grants provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), or state grants source.

To apply for financial assistance, an applicant typically needs to submit a designated form. The form should include information on the applicant’s income and circumstances, proving their need for assistance. It is important to inquire about the availability of such financial assistance programs in North Dakota to determine if you’re eligible and how to apply for this support.

Non-Compliance Consequences

When drivers in North Dakota fail to comply with the ignition interlock laws, they face several consequences. These consequences are designed to deter individuals from driving under the influence of alcohol and to ensure the safety of all road users. This section will focus on the primary consequences of non-compliance: criminal penalties, license suspension, and revocation.

Criminal Penalties

In North Dakota, violating ignition interlock requirements may result in criminal penalties. Drivers caught driving without a required interlock device or tampering with the device can face fines and jail time. For example, a first-time offender may be required to pay a fine up to $1,500 and can potentially face up to 30 days in jail. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties, including higher fines and longer jail sentences.

License Suspension and Revocation

In addition to criminal penalties, drivers who do not comply with ignition interlock laws in North Dakota may experience license suspension or revocation. If a driver fails an interlock breath test or is found to be circumventing the device, their license may be suspended for a predetermined period, depending on the number of prior offenses.

License revocation may occur if a driver is found to have repeatedly violated the ignition interlock requirements or is convicted of an alcohol-related offense while under an ignition interlock restriction. During the revocation period, the driver will not be allowed to drive, even with an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles.

The combination of criminal penalties, license suspension, and revocation serves as a strong deterrent against non-compliance with North Dakota’s ignition interlock laws.

Removing the Interlock Device

Eligibility for Removal

In North Dakota, drivers with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle due to DUI convictions are typically eligible for removal after they have completed their mandated period with the device. The specific duration depends on the severity of the offense and whether it is a first-time or repeat offense. It is essential for the driver to demonstrate compliance with the program and have no violations registered on the device during this mandatory period.

Removal Process

When the driver is eligible for the IID removal, they should contact the agency or IID vendor responsible for the installation and management of their interlock device. The vendor or agency will typically schedule an appointment for the removal process. It is vital for the driver to continue using the interlock device responsibly until the day of removal.

Upon confirmation that the individual has met all the requirements and paid any applicable fees, the agency or vendor will remove the IID from the vehicle. The driver may also be required to submit documentation or receive clearance from their monitoring authority, depending on the specifics of their case.

By following the above-mentioned eligibility and removal process guidelines, drivers in North Dakota can successfully complete their Ignition Interlock Program and regain full driving privileges without the interlock device.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an ignition interlock device cost in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the cost of an ignition interlock device varies depending on the provider and the features included. Generally, drivers can expect to pay between $70 and $100 for monthly lease fees, with an additional installation fee ranging from $50 to $200. Some providers may also charge a maintenance fee or removal fee at the end of the program.

Are there low-cost options for ignition interlock devices in North Dakota?

Although there isn’t specific information about low-cost options for ignition interlock devices in North Dakota, many states have financial assistance programs in place to help eligible low-income individuals cover the costs of these devices. It’s best to contact your local court or DMV to inquire about any available financial assistance programs in your area.

What are the installation requirements for interlock devices?

In North Dakota, individuals convicted of a DUI offense may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle as a condition of reinstating their driving privileges. The device must be installed by a state-approved provider, and the driver is responsible for all fees associated with the installation, maintenance, and removal of the device. Once installed, the device will periodically require the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle and while driving.

What are the penalties for DUI in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the penalties for a DUI conviction depend on the offender’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and prior DUI convictions within the past 7 years. Penalties include fines, license suspension, mandatory completion of a drug and alcohol evaluation, possible alcohol education or treatment, and possible jail time. For repeat offenders, the penalties are more severe, often including longer periods of license suspension, higher fines, and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.

What is the legal blood alcohol content limit in North Dakota?

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in North Dakota is 0.08% for drivers age 21 and older, 0.04% for commercial vehicle drivers, and 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21. Driving with a BAC that exceeds these limits is considered driving under the influence (DUI) and can result in penalties such as fines, license suspension, and possible jail time.

What are the consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, drivers are subject to implied consent laws, which means that by obtaining a driver’s license, they agree to submit to a chemical test if suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test at the request of a law enforcement officer can result in an immediate administrative license suspension for up to 3 years, depending on the driver’s prior DUI offenses. This suspension is in addition to any penalties that may be imposed for a subsequent DUI conviction.


  1. https://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t39c20.pdf#nameddest=39-20-05

  2. https://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t39c20.pdf#nameddest=39-20-05

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