What Is a Felony DUI in South Dakota?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

South Dakota's DUI laws prohibit operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of drugs (including prescription drugs) or alcohol. In most situations, a DUI conviction will be a misdemeanor. But, if a case involves certain aggravating factors, a DUI can be charged as a felony.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in South Dakota.

Third or Subsequent DUI Conviction Is a Felony

For a first or second DUI, the driver will typically be facing misdemeanor charges. But if a driver has two or more prior DUI convictions within the past ten years, the current offense (third or subsequent) will be a felony.

A third DUI conviction is a class 6 felony and carries up to two years in prison and a maximum $4,000 in fines. The driver can also expect to lose driving privileges for at least a year.

A fourth DUI is a class 5 felony. Convicted motorists face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000, and license revocation of at least two years.

Felony Charges for DUIs Involving Injuries and Deaths

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI involving serious bodily injuries can be convicted of "vehicular battery," a class 4 felony. Convicted motorists face up to ten years in prison, a maximum $20,000 in fines, and a minimum three-year license revocation.

Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence is "vehicular homicide." A conviction is a class 3 felony and carries a maximum 15 years in prison, up to $30,000 in fines, and a license revocation of at least ten years.

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