South Dakota DUI Laws, Penalties, and Consequences

Learn about the penalties—including fines, jail, and license revocation—for a DUI conviction in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, as in other states, it's illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the penalties for a DUI conviction depend mostly on the number of prior convictions the driver has. This article covers South Dakota's DUI laws, including the relevant definitions, and the consequences you'll face if convicted of a first, second, or third DUI offense.

South Dakota's DUI Laws

In South Dakota, a person can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) for driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle:

In other words, a DUI conviction can be based on an excessive BAC or actual intoxication.

South Dakota's BAC Limits for Underage and Commercial Drivers

While most drivers can be convicted of a "per se" DUI for driving with a BAC of .08% or more, certain drivers are subject to more a restrictive standard.

For drivers operating commercial vehicles, the BAC threshold is reduced to .04%, and a conviction carries additional license-related penalties.

And drivers who are under 21 years old need only have a BAC of .02% or more (or any level of marijuana) to get a DUI. However, underage DUI penalties are different than those for a regular DUI conviction and tend to be more rehabilitative than punitive.

South Dakota's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-Offense DUI Penalties

South Dakota DUI penalties are primarily based on the prior number of offenses within the last ten years.

Jail Time, Fines, and License Revocation for DUI Convictions in South Dakota

1st Offense (Misdemeanor)

2nd Offense (Misdemeanor)

3rd Offense (Felony)


Up to 1 year

Up to 1 year

Up to 2 years in prison


Up to $2,000

Up to $2,000

Up to $4,000

License Revocation

30 days up to 1 year

At least 1 year

At least 1 year

Getting a Restricted License in South Dakota

The court can but isn't required to grant a restricted license for the period of the revocation. With a restricted license, a person is limited to driving for only certain purposes like employment and treatment.

Substance Abuse Evaluations for South Dakota DUI Convictions

For a second or subsequent DUI or any DUI involving a BAC of .17% or more, the driver will be required to obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation and may be ordered to complete certain chemical dependency programs.

Implied Consent and Alcohol and Drug Testing in South Dakota

Under South Dakota's "implied consent" law, any person driving within the state is deemed to have consented to BAC chemical testing (usually, a blood or breath test) to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs. Motorists who refuse to submit to lawfully requested tests will have their driver's license revoked for one year. The fact that the driver refused testing may also be used at trial to prove culpability.

Plea Bargaining in South Dakota DUI Cases

If you get charged with a DUI in South Dakota, you might be hoping to get the charge reduced or dismissed altogether. However, unless the court throws out evidence that's critical to prove the charge, it's unlikely a prosecutor will agree to a complete dismissal. South Dakota statutes prohibit the dismissal or reduction of a DUI without good cause.

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