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 that occurred within the last 10 years. 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.
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.
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 a more 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.
For a first DUI conviction within 10 years, the driver faces:
For 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.
For a second DUI conviction within 10 years, the driver faces:
For a second DUI, the driver will be required to obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation and may be ordered to complete certain chemical dependency programs.
For a third DUI conviction within 10 years, the driver faces:
For a third DUI, the driver will be required to obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation and may be ordered to complete certain chemical dependency programs.
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.
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.
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. But you should always talk to a qualified attorney about your options.