Committing a traffic offense such as a DUI and DWI in South Dakota results in severe consequences on the offender’s driving records. Penalties for DUI include high driving fines, driver’s license suspensions or revocations and prison sentences. Since driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs is considered a criminal offense, drivers may face harsher penalties, depending on the number of prior offenses committed.

In these situations, drivers should hire the best DUI lawyer in SD in order to minimize the charges. For more information on drunk driving offenses and details about how to create a good legal defense, read through the sections below.

DUI Citations and Convictions in South Dakota

Drunk driving charges are added to a motorist’s driving record when operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. An SD DUI violation may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, especially when it causes a fatality or injury to other passengers, drivers or pedestrians.

Drivers who are wondering “Is DUI a criminal offense in South Dakota?” should be aware that any violation that poses danger to public safety or causes a fatality is considered a criminal charge. The felonies and misdemeanors in South Dakota are determined as such based on the severity and number of previous offenses committed by the driver.

South Dakota Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

DWI convictions in South Dakota result in harsh consequences, which vary based on the motorist’s age, the level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the number of prior offenses he or she has committed. Find out more information about each drunk driving violation by reading the sections below.

First DUI Offense

A first DUI in South Dakota is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, with penalties such as a driving fine of up to $1,000, jail time of up to 1 year and a loss of driving privileges for a period of at least 30 days.

DUI offenses committed by underage drivers younger than 21 years of age may bring similar consequences if they are caught driving with a BAC level of 0.02 percent or more. In a situation such as this, a first DUI offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor and will bring a fine and a loss of the driver’s license for 30 days.

Second DUI Offense

Drivers who commit a second DUI in South Dakota are classified as committing a Class 1 misdemeanor and will be subject to harsher consequences, which will be listed on their driving records.

The penalties include a traffic fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for 1 year and a driver’s license suspension for at least 1 year. Drivers who are caught driving without a license in that period of time will face a jail sentence for 3 days or more.

A second or subsequent underage DUI offense for drivers younger than 21 years of age will be considered a Class 2 offense and will bring them a fine and a loss of their driving privilege for a period of 180 days.

Third DUI Offense

Committing a third DUI in South Dakota is considered a Class 6 felony and will result in the most severe penalties, such as a driving fine of up to $2,000, up to 2 year in prison and a license suspension or revocation for a period of at least 1 year after serving the prison sentence. If motorists are found operating without a driver’s license, they will be sentenced to at least 10 days in jail.

Drinking and Driving in South Dakota

Driving intoxicated in South Dakota not only involves driving under the influence of alcohol, but operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs. Both alcohol and drugs have similar effects on the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.

A driver who practices impaired driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs may cause severe injuries or death to him or herself and others. Vehicular manslaughter charges may require the services of a DUI defense attorney during a court trial.

South Dakota DUI Attorneys

An impaired driving lawyer in South Dakota is a legal representative who specializes in driving laws and citation regulations. A DUI defense attorney is necessary when drivers are faced with charges of drunk driving and need a good defense strategy in court. Prior to hiring an attorney, drivers are encouraged to conduct background checks on all lawyers in order to choose the one that will best handle their case.

Open Container Laws in South Dakota

One of the South Dakota DUI laws that drivers must obey when operating their vehicle is the Open Container Law. Drivers are prohibited from transporting open alcoholic beverage containers within vehicles.

However, transporting these goods while sealed or in the trunk or another inaccessible area of the vehicle is permitted. Moreover, drivers will not get drunk driving charges if they are operating a vehicle where passengers carry open alcoholic containers.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in South Dakota

Drivers who are holding a South Dakota DUI suspended license may reinstate their driving privileges by satisfying a specific set of requirements.

Restoration of a suspended license requires offenders to complete the suspension period, surrender their suspended licenses to the Department of Public Safety, meet the court requirements, submit proof of financial responsibility, pay the applicable fees and apply for a new driving license.

In addition, when facing a DUI drivers license suspension, you may have to complete certain court requirements depending on your situation such as enrolling in a traffic school program.

South Dakota Alcohol Awareness Classes

Offenders may take DUI classes in SD as part of the court requirements for reinstating driving privileges. Enrolling in a traffic school program provides offenders with the knowledge of safe driving practices and the effects of intoxicants. In South Dakota, drivers may enroll in a DUI course known as Approved Alcohol Evaluation Program.

SR-22 Insurance in South Dakota

Drivers who are charged with DUI in South Dakota and have a suspended or revoked driver’s license must file an SR-22 insurance certificate. An SR-22 insurance policy for DUI offenders is a liability statement that certifies drivers are in compliance with state laws. Maintaining car insurance after DUI is a requirement set by the SD DPS. Each driver must submit as a proof of financial responsibility for 3 years from the date where the license is restored.

South Dakota Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

South Dakota DUI laws limit the amount of alcohol allowed in a motorist’s blood which is measured by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Motorists will face severe charges for having a BAC level above 0.08 percent, or above 0.02 percent if they are underage drivers.

In addition, drivers will be charged with DUI for disobeying the Implied Consent Law. According to this law, drivers are required to submit to a BAC test whenever a law enforcement official requests them to do so.

South Dakota Hardship License

Drivers with a suspended license may be eligible for a hardship license before reinstating their credentials. This restricted license will allow drivers to operate a motor vehicle under certain restrictions. For instance, drivers may be eligible to apply for a restricted work permit that will enable them to travel to and from work or school.

South Dakota DUI violation conditions can be found on a motorist’s driving record, therefore order a copy of your transcript or contact the SD DPS for more eligibility information.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.