South Dakota DUI Laws, and Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in South Dakota.

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What are the penalties for a DUI in South Dakota?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

Up to 1 year

Up to 1 year

Up to 2 years

Fines and Penalties

$1,000

$1,000

$2,000

License Suspension

30 days to 1 year

180 days to 1 year

1 year

IID** Required

No

No

No

Lookback Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in South Dakota?

Under 21

.02%

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in South Dakota?

South Dakota has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about South Dakota’s implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

1 year license revocation

1 year license revocation

1 year license revocation

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Drinking and Driving Laws in South Dakota

It is illegal in the State of South Dakota to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. The .08 percent limit is the benchmark used for the "impaired" driver in all states. South Dakota has lower BAC limits for drivers of commercial vehicles and drivers under the age of 21. The South Dakota DWI law includes alcohol, drugs and other controlled substances, this includes prescription drugs that have been issued by a physician. The South Dakota DWI law specifically denies the use of physician prescribed drugs as a defense in a DWI trial.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in South Dakota? There are many variables that factor into a BAC score such as body weight, sex, genetics, number of drinks consumed over a given time frame, and more. There are charts and calculators that can serve as a reference, however these tools do not include all of the variables that could contribute to your BAC score. It is safe to assume that for each drink you consume, you become that much closer to the legal limit of .08.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of South Dakota has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in South Dakota, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first time you are arrested for drunk driving in the State of South Dakota your drivers license will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. You will also receive a fine up to $1,000 and you could spend up to 1 year in jail.

The second DWI you are convicted of will cost you a fine up to $1,000 and you will lose your driving privileges for a period of 1 year. The court may also sentence you up to 1 year in jail. You will also be ordered to complete a court approved chemical dependency program and provide proof of financial responsibility. If these are completed, the court may issue a restricted permit for purposes of employment, school or attendance at other counseling programs.

The 3rd time you are convicted of drunk driving in the State of South Dakota you will be charged with a Class 6 Felony. You will be fined up to $2,000 and imprisoned up to 2 years. Your drivers license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year after your release from jail. You will also be ordered to complete a court approved chemical dependency program and provide proof of financial responsibility. If these are completed, the court may issue a restricted permit for purposes of employment, school or attendance at other counseling programs.

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of "wet reckless" might be accepted by the prosecution in South Dakota. A "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the "wet reckless" is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what's required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a wet reckless, you'll need the help of a lawyer.

Requirements for Reduced Charges: A DUI charge may be reduced or dismissed only if the prosecuting attorney states the reasons for reduction or dismissal in writing and on the record and files the reasons with the clerk of courts.

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