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South Dakota DUI laws Q and A

On Behalf of | May 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Alcohol-related auto collisions happen all too often in South Dakota. Sadly, many of these collisions result in fatalities. As a way to deter people from driving under the influence, the state has made this a serious criminal offense, and those convicted on DUI charges may face significant consequences  particularly those with multiple DUIs on their record.  

What are the DUI laws in South Dakota? What are the penalties if convicted? What can you do if you find yourself facing DUI charges? 

What are the current DUI laws? 

Currently, state law says that anyone over the age of 21 found with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or higher may be arrested and charged with DUI. It doesn’t matter if you were driving your car or just sitting behind the wheel with keys in the ignition before sobriety testing. You may also face charges if your BAC is below .08% if visibly impaired, under the age of 21 or operating a vehicle under a commercial driver’s license.  

What are the penalties? 

The penalties for DUI charges vary based on your BAC at the time of your arrest and how many offenses you have on record. The current consequences are as follows: 

  • First offense: Class 1 misdemeanor, license suspension for 30 days up to one year 
  • Second offense: Class 1 misdemeanor, license suspension for one year, three days jail time if arrested for driving without a license 
  • Third offense: Class 6 felony, license suspension of one year, 10 days jail time if caught driving without a license 
  • Fourth offense: Class 5 felony, license revoked for two years, 20 days jail time for driving without a license 
  • Fifth offense: Class 4 felony, license revoked for three years, 20 days jail time if found driving without a license 

The court may order you to attend a chemical dependency program. Once completed, you may have permission to drive to work, attend counseling sessions, go to school and participate in mandatory sobriety testing. The court may also order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.  

What can you do? 

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, you have the right to defend yourself. Not all charges will result in a conviction. With the right assistance, you may successfully question the evidence, allowing you to walk away with a case dismissal or at least minimize any consequences if convicted.