Locations in Sioux Falls & Mitchell

South Dakota DUI Laws

Alvine Weidenaar, Criminal

Over 10,000 people lose their lives nationwide each year due to impaired driving. Not only is drunk driving dangerous, but illegal. 

You can learn more about South Dakota DUI laws and your rights here. We recommend you contact a criminal defense attorney from Alvine Law Firm, LLP, if you are arrested and charged with DUI since the penalties can be severe. 

DUI Defined 

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a charge you may face if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes prescription medicines, legal drugs, marijuana, and over-the-counter medications. 

Alcohol Limits in South Dakota 

In South Dakota, it is illegal for you to operate a vehicle if your BAC (blood alcohol content) level is over:

  • 0.08% for most drivers
  • 0.04% for commercial vehicle drivers
  • 0.02% for drivers under 21
  • Any amount of marijuana use in drivers under 21

South Dakota does have severe penalties for those caught and convicted of DUI; however, unlike other states, the penalties are more rehabilitative than punitive. 

It is also important to note that it is illegal for individuals under 21 to carry alcohol in a vehicle unless their parent is present and the container is sealed, full, and unopened. 

Implied Consent in South Dakota 

Each state in the U.S. has an implied consent law. According to this law, you consent to testing if the authorities suspect you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you refuse to submit to testing, your license can be revoked for up to one year. 

If you are arrested for DUI, you must submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. You do not have the right to talk to a DUI lawyer before doing this. 

DUI Penalties in South Dakota 

The penalties for a DUI conviction in South Dakota are harsh. If you are convicted of this charge, it remains on your record for 10 years. 

While there is a possibility that your charge will be thrown out, it is unlikely since the state has statutes that prevent the reduction or dismissal of DUI charges without good cause. 

First DUI Conviction Penalties 

DUI penalties are based on the number of offenses and convictions you have in the past 10 years. The judge presiding over your case has discretion regarding fines, jail time, substance abuse treatment, and license suspension. While this is true, with a first DUI conviction, you can expect the following penalties: 

  • Fines of $1,000 to $2,000
  • Jail time of up to one year
  • License suspension of 30 days to one year

If you are found to have a BAC of 0.17% or more, you must undergo an assessment for alcohol and drug dependence. You may also be required to complete a chemical dependency program. 

Penalties for Subsequent DUI Convictions

For multiple DUI convictions of a DUI in 10 years, you will face increased penalties. These include fines of up to $4,000, two years in jail, license revocation, and vehicle forfeiture. 

While a second DUI conviction is a misdemeanor, a third is a felony. 

The specific penalties for subsequent DUIs include the following:

  • Fines of $2,000 to $4,000
  • Jail time of one to two years
  • Minimum of one-year license suspension
  • The possibility of being ordered to use an ignition interlock device
  • SR-22 requirement

An IID (ignition interlock device) is not required in South Dakota; however, a judge can require you to install this if they believe it is needed. The IID will keep your vehicle from starting if you have alcohol on your breath. 

After completing the suspension period, you may be able to apply for a restricted license that allows you to drive for specific purposes like going to work. However, to be approved for this, you must agree to the following conditions:

  • Complete the ordered DUI program
  • Only drive vehicles with an IID
  • Pay the restriction and reissue costs to the state
  • Follow all other requirements ordered by the state

The minimum penalties will increase if your BAC is extremely high or you injured someone while driving. This is even the case for a first conviction. 

Penalties for Commercial Drivers Convicted of DUI

While other penalties may apply to your case based on the state’s laws, a commercial driver convicted of a first DUI while driving any vehicle will be prohibited from driving a commercial vehicle for a minimum of one year. However, if the driver transports hazardous materials when the DUI is committed, the disqualification period increases to three years. 

Commercial drivers convicted of a second DUI will have their commercial license revoked indefinitely. Sometimes, this can be reduced, but the minimum time period is 10 years. If you are caught operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, it is charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor which can come with penalties of up to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail. 

Penalties for DUI Convictions for Drivers Under 21

Anyone under the age of 21 who is convicted of a first DUI will face a fine of up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, or both. A first offense also comes with a 30-day license suspension. 

If the individual is convicted of a second DUI, they will have their license suspended for 180 days, and a third of subsequent offense comes with a license suspension of one year. 

The Impact of a DUI on Your South Dakota Car Insurance

After being convicted of DUI, you are considered a high-risk driver. Most insurance companies will charge higher premiums to those with DUI convictions. Because of this, it may be challenging to find the coverage you can afford. 

Let Our Legal Team Help with Your DUI Case

If you have been charged with DUI in South Dakota, our legal team at the Alvine Law Firm, LLP is here to help. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case. 

Get the help you need today!

Our legal team’s expertise allows us to quickly evaluate your claim to allow you to get back to living your life.