South Dakota’s Alcohol Open Container Laws and Ticket Penalties

Learn about the penalties for an open container conviction in South Dakota.

As in most other states, South Dakota has restrictions on possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. This article covers South Dakota's open container rules and the penalties you'll face for a violation.

South Dakota's Alcohol Open Container Restrictions

South Dakota law prohibits any person from consuming or possessing an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle unless the seal of the original package remains unbroken. The restriction includes any:

  • package containing alcoholic beverages, or
  • receptacle containing alcoholic beverages.

The rule applies to all persons within the car—including the driver and passengers—and to any vehicle located on public highways or state park roads.

South Dakota defines "alcoholic beverage" to include any distilled spirit, wine, and malt beverage. This definition does not include beer and wine of less than .5% alcohol—meaning, some non-alcoholic beers and mixers may be permitted.

(S.D. Codified Laws § 35-1-9.1.)

Exceptions to South Dakota's Open Container Rule

Certain vehicles. South Dakota's open container law isn't applicable to passengers riding in certain types of vehicles. For instance, in statutorily authorized for-hire vehicles, passengers are permitted to possess and consume alcohol as long as it's outside of the driver compartment.

Areas of the vehicle. South Dakota's open container laws are intended to apply to the passenger areas of the vehicle. The open container restrictions aren't applicable to items in a locked glove box, the trunk of the car, or behind the back seat (if the car doesn't have a trunk) as long as they are not readily accessible to the driver or passengers.

(S.D. Codified Laws § 35-1-9.3.)

Fines and Jail for Open Container Violations

An open container violation is a class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota. A conviction will result in a fine of up to $500 and a maximum of 30 days imprisonment. A person may be arrested for an open container violation but is generally released (as opposed to being taken to jail) unless other circumstances exist that justify further detention. (S.D. Codified Laws § 22-6-2.)

Talk to a DUI Defense attorney
We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you