South Dakota outlaws the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To encourage drivers to avoid driving in this condition, the state uses a variety of DUI laws that merit penalties ranging from time in jail to civil fines.
Motorists in South Dakota can avoid getting a DUI by knowing at what limits that the state establishes for the allowable blood alcohol content or BAC limits. They can also choose to drive sober by realizing the punishments that they can receive if they are convicted of DUI in South Dakota.
DUI Penalties in South Dakota
The penalties that drivers face for DUI mirror the number prior DUI offenses that they have on their driving record as well as their BACs at the time of their arrests. This offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in South Dakota.
A first-time DUI offense in South Dakota is charged as a misdemeanor and results in a legal consequences like up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2000 and license revocation ranging from 30 days to one year. A second DUI is also charged as a misdemeanor and results in penalties of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2000 and at least a one-year license revocation.
A third DUI in South Dakota is charged as a felony and includes a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $4000, and having one’s license revoked for up to one year. The court has the option of issuing all DUI offenders a restricted license during the license revocation period. However, they can only drive to and from work, school or a substance abuse treatment program on a restricted license.
The court also mandates required alcohol or drug abuse treatment for second and subsequent DUI offenders in South Dakota. The treatment is required for all DUI offenders who had a BAC of 0.17 percent or higher at the time of their arrest.
Underage DUI in South Dakota
Underage DUI offenders in South Dakota are also subject to legal penalties if they are arrested for DUI. Drivers under the age of 21 in the state can be arrested for DUI if they have BACs of 0.02 percent or higher. The state uses a zero tolerance law to penalize underage drinking and driving.
The legal consequences for underage DUI offenders in South Dakota include:
- Up to 30 days in jail
- A fine of up to $500
- License suspension for up to 30 days
- Required drug or alcohol abuse counseling and treatment
The license suspension period increases with the number of DUI offenses that an underage driver incurs. The second DUI conviction for a driver under 21 results in a suspension of 180 days while a third or subsequent DUI conviction results in the suspension of one’s license for one year.
South Dakota Implied Consent Laws
South Dakota also uses an implied consent law to compel motorists to comply with field sobriety and chemical testing. If they are pulled over for suspected DUI, both in-state and out-of-state drivers must provide a sample of their breath, blood or urine to law enforcement.
They cannot avoid getting a DUI charge by refusing to comply with chemical or breathalyzer testing. Law enforcement has the discretion of getting a warrant to obtain samples from drivers. In addition to receiving penalties for driving under the influence, drivers also will receive sentences for refusing to comply with chemical testing.
The typical punishment for refusing to comply with testing under the state’s implied consent laws is a one-year suspension of one’s license. The refusal can also be used against the offender in court as an admission of his or her guilt.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in South Dakota. This infraction results in punishments ranging from fines to jail time. Drivers can also incur DUI charges even if they refuse chemical testing after being pulled over by law enforcement.