South Dakota DUI 101

South Dakota DUI laws have multiple penalties involved with them. If you decide to drink and drive in the Mount Rushmore State, you should be aware of the consequences you could be facing.

What Qualifies As a South Dakota DUI?

To be considered legally drunk in South Dakota, you only have to have a Blood Alcohol Content level, or BAC, of .08 percent, as is common in most of the United States. If you are driving commercially, the BAC drops to only .04% to be considered driving drunk. If you are under the legal drinking age of 21 in South Dakota, you only have to have a .02 percent BAC while you are behind the wheel to be in legal trouble.

DUI Penalties

In South Dakota, the penalties for a DUI vary, depending on what your BAC was at the time of your arrest.

On your first DUI conviction, you could see up to one year of jail time. You could also see a $1,000 fine. Your license could be suspended anywhere from 30 days to one year.

A second DUI conviction in South Dakota could hit you with a $1,000 fine and land you in jail for up to a year. The court could also mandate that you complete a chemical dependency program. You may have your license suspended for a minimum of 180 days.

If you are caught drinking and driving for a third time in South Dakota, that is considered a Class 6 felony. With that, you could see up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine. You will likely be forced to complete a chemical dependency program by the court. You are also looking at the suspension of your license for a year.

In South Dakota, you may be able to qualify for a restricted license during the time following a DUI conviction when a normal license will be suspended. In order to get a restricted license, you must have an SR22 insurance policy, proving your financial reliability.

Implied Consent Law

South Dakota has an Implied Consent Law. That means that if you refuse to take a chemical test, you could be subject to a fine and could have your license revoked for one year.

South Dakota Governor Cracking Down on DUIs

In 2008, then Governor Mike Rounds signed a bill in South Dakota cracking down on driving privileges for DUI offenders. The bill stated that a person convicted of a DUI could only operate a vehicle for transportation to sobriety testing, alcohol counseling programs and emergencies, unless they have proof of employment or were attending school.

South Dakota might not have some of the toughest laws in regards to drinking and driving, but the legislature is making strides to make their DUI laws tougher.

Remember, it’s never a good idea to drink and drive. If you do choose to drink, the smart idea would be to pass the keys off to a friend before you get behind the wheel, or call yourself a cab so you don’t get caught with a South Dakota DUI conviction.