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South Dakota DUI Laws

Between having to deal with the police, insurance companies and extensive paperwork, a DUI case can bring with it much more than just a headache. The possibility of having your license suspended or revoked, having to attend rehab and even facing prison time is daunting. Luckily, with the help of an expert DUI lawyer, you can get the help you need to ease your worries. Call us today to set up a consultation with a top DUI lawyer in South Dakota nearest you.

Like other states across the U.S., South Dakota considers it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Those caught drinking or using controlled substances like marijuana, cocaine, or even medically prescribed drugs while operating a motor vehicle will be arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence, or DUI.

There are several ways to incur a DUI in South Dakota. The first is by having a BAC (blood alcohol content) level above .08 percent for persons over 21 years old, which is called the “per se” law. For commercial vehicle drivers, the BAC limit is .04 percent and for minors (persons under 21 years of age) the limit is .02 percent.

When a motorist is charged with DUI based on BAC level only, they don’t even need to show signs of impairment in order to be arrested. A BAC level exceeding the legal limit in South Dakota is sufficient evidence that a driver is intoxicated.

A DUI can also be issued based on driver impairment alone. If a motorist appears to be intoxicated and performs badly on a field sobriety test, is speaking with slurred speech, smells of alcohol or any other sign that they are inebriated, an officer may arrest the motorist and charge them with DUI.

Furthermore, a DUI can be issued even if the offender is not operating a motor vehicle. South Dakota considers the definition of a “vehicle” in the broadest sense of the word. A person may be charged with DUI if they are riding bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or even a horse for that matter.

The state has a 10 year “lookback” period, meaning any DUI incurred within 10 years of another will lead to stricter penalties for the current DUI charge, which may include higher fines and fees, extended jail time or longer license suspension.

Penalties for DUI in South Dakota

A DUI is a serious charge, punishable by multiple fines and penalties. If a motorist is found guilty of driving under the influence in South Dakota, the following punishments may be incurred:

1st DUI Conviction

• Imprisonment up to 1 year
• Fine of $1,000
• Driver’s license suspended from 30 days to 1 year
• May be able to obtain restricted license with SR22 insurance

2nd DUI Conviction

• Imprisonment up to 1 year
• Fine of $1,000
• Driver’s license suspended from 180 days to 1 year
• May be able to obtain restricted license with SR22 insurance
• Must complete chemical dependency program

3rd DUI Conviction

• Considered Class 6 Felony
• Imprisonment up to 2 years
• Fine of $2,000
• Driver’s license suspended 1 year
• May be able to obtain restricted license with SR22 insurance
• Must complete chemical dependency program

South Dakota’s Implied Consent Law

The implied consent law in South Dakota states that all motorists in the state must submit to a chemical test of their blood, urine or breath in order to determine level of intoxication. Those who refuse may have their driver’s license suspended for 1 year and the refusal will be used against them as evidence of guilt in a court of law.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

If you or someone you love has gotten charged with driving under the influence in South Dakota, seek the help of a top DUI lawyer immediately. A DUI conviction can completely ruin your life, affecting your employment, finances, and sometimes even civil rights. Don’t become a victim of your charge and fight for your rights with the help of an elite South Dakota DUI attorney.

DUI lawyers know that there are times in which a motorist is unfairly charged with DUI. Rest assured that your paralegal will investigate the incident thoroughly and if there were any signs that led you to being falsely accused of intoxication, your DUI attorney will point them out. Many times, drivers are issued faulty breathalyzer tests or are arrested based on suspicion alone without even having consumed alcohol or drugs. Rest easy knowing that if you are innocent or if there is insufficient proof to charge you, your South Dakota DUI lawyer will not stop until your charges are cleared.

For the best possible outcome of your case, turn to a top South Dakota DUI attorney right away.