North Dakota is Incredibly Lenient on High Risk Drivers
Driving like an idiot is not smart. But if you happen to drive like an idiot, North Dakota is a great state to do it in.
This is not a good thing. When it comes to punishing drivers DUI, speeding, and other reckless driving penalties, North Dakota is incredibly lenient on drivers.
In fact, according to a new report from Wallet Hub which ranked each state from the strictest to the most lenient, North Dakota was tied with Ohio as the 48th strictest state. In other words, including Washington D.C., North Dakota was the third most lenient state.
Everyone makes mistakes. It's pretty great if you happen to get caught going 5 or 10mph over the speed limit on an open road, it won't be devastating. And assuming fair weather conditions, driving a little bit over the speed limit on an open road is not a huge deal.
However, offenses like drinking and driving are a very big deal. Whether there are other cars around or not, drinking and driving can be incredibly dangerous and many lives are put at risk. The fact that North Dakota is so lenient on drunk drivers is a bad precedent.
According to Drivinglaws.org, a first time DUI offense results in no jail time, a fine up to $750 and possible license suspension up to 180 days.
Compared to Arizona, which Wallet Hub says has the strictest laws against drivers and against DUI drivers in particular, you can receive up to 10 days in jail for a first offense and a license suspension for potentially 360 days which is just days shy of an entire year.
Certainly this topic has been brought up before but it's unknown if North Dakota has any plans to make its laws any stricter.