A driving under the influence (DUI) violation will be considered a third-offense felony if the offender has two prior DUI convictions within the last ten years. A third-offense DUI generally carries prison, expensive fines, and license revocation. This article discusses the specific penalties you'll face if convicted of a third DUI (sometimes called DWI—driving while intoxicated) in South Dakota.
Prison time. As a class 6 felony, a third-offense DUI can result in up to two years in prison. But the court can suspend part of the sentence and place the offender on probation. As conditions of probation, the offender must usually complete some sort of substance abuse treatment or education and refrain from any further criminal activity. Failure to abide by the conditions of probation can result in the imposition of the original prison sentence.
Fines. A convicted driver faces up to $4,000 in fines.
Treatment. While not required, many courts will reduce the conviction-related penalties if the offender agrees to undergo substance abuse treatment.
For a third DUI conviction, the court will order the driver's license revoked for at least one year, excluding any time spent in prison.
Restricted license. While revoked, the driver can petition the court for a restricted license. The driver must show proof of financial responsibility (SR-22), completion of a chemical dependency program, as well as proof of need (such as employment, school, and the like). The driver must also abstain from alcohol and participate in the 24/7 sobriety program.
Test Refusal. If the driver refused to submit to an alcohol test in violation of the implied consent law, the state can revoke the driver's license for one year, in addition to the revocation for the conviction. However, the driver can still request a restricted license.
As a felony, a third offense DUI can have long-term effects on employment, custody arrangements, and gun ownership. An experienced DUI attorney can advise you on how to best protect your rights and interests.