About 800 Drinkers Off the Road for Less Cost Than One DUI Checkpoint

MINOT, N.D. — When it comes to drunk driving, many North Dakotans prefer a throw-the-book-at-them approach.

Our elected policymakers have obliged them.

During their 2013 session, lawmakers raised the fines for DUI convictions and created a new aggravated DUI charge for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders also see tougher charges. Minimum jail times were upped as well. Lawmakers even implemented what’s called the 24/7 sobriety program for the most egregious offenders.

Under that program, offenders must show up to get tested for sobriety by law enforcement daily.

The result? “The percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes increased annually between 2015 and 2017,” North Dakota’s Vision Zero campaign tells us. “Following these increases, the percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes decreased again in 2018, but rose again in 2019.”

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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