South Dakota’s Underage DUI Laws

How South Dakota’s drunk driving laws apply to drivers who are under 21 years old and the consequences of an underage DUI.

Under South Dakota law, it's illegal for drivers who are younger than the legal drinking age (21 years old) to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or more. South Dakota also has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers and drug use. Underage drivers with any measurable amount of marijuana or a controlled substance in their system can be charged with an underage DUI.

Here are the consequences a driver faces if convicted of an underage DUI offense.

Underage DUI Penalties

An underage DUI violation is a class 2 misdemeanor and will result in up to 30 days in jail, a maximum $500 in fines, and license suspension. The suspension periods are 30 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and one year for a third or subsequent offense. During the suspension period, the driver might be eligible for a restricted license for driving to and from work, school, and counseling programs.

When Underage Drivers Face Standard DUI Penalties

Underage drivers who are caught operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol face the standard DUI penalties. Depending on the circumstances, someone convicted of a standard DUI could be looking at fines, jail time, and license suspension.

Talk to an Attorney

Regardless of the charge, it's always best to talk to an experienced DUI attorney if you've been cited for driving under the influence. A qualified lawyer can tell you how the law applies to your situation and help you decide on the best course of action.

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