South Dakota First-Offense DUI

The penalties you’ll face—including fines, jail, and license suspension—for a first DUI in South Dakota.

A first DUI conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor in South Dakota. A DUI is considered a first offense if the offender has no prior DUI convictions that occurred within the past ten years. First offenders are generally looking at a fine, probation, license suspension, and possible jail time.

Criminal Penalties

Jail time. A first offense DUI can result in up to one year in the county jail. However, there is no mandatory minimum jail term for a first DUI conviction.

Probation. Many first offenders are placed on probation for the conviction. While on probation, the offender must abide by certain restrictions. These restrictions might include alcohol and drug abstinence, drug and alcohol testing, and abiding by all other laws. Violating a condition of probation can result in jail time.

Fines. A person who's convicted of a first DUI also faces fines of up to $2,000. (However, there are lots of other costs of a first DUI such as attorney's fees and increased insurance rates.)

Substance abuse evaluations. If the convicted person had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17% or greater, the judge will also order a chemical dependency evaluation. The evaluation recommendations are provided to the judge prior to sentencing.

Driver's License Sanctions

Generally, a first DUI conviction results in a driver's license revocation of 30 days to one year. However, the court can order a restricted license, permitting travel for purposes like employment, school, and treatment. For drivers who had a BAC of .17% or greater, the judge must also require participation in "24/7 sobriety testing" (in areas where it's available) as a precondition for obtaining a restricted license.

Drivers who unlawfully refuse to take a breath or blood test face a one-year license revocation, separate from the conviction penalty. However, the driver may similarly request a restricted license.

Talk to an Attorney

If you've been arrested for driving under the influence in South Dakota, it's a good idea to talk to a DUI lawyer. It may not be possible to avoid all DUI penalties, but a skilled DUI attorney can advise and guide you regarding the best course of action.

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