Like many states, South Dakota makes it possible for drivers to be convicted for South Dakota DUI in two ways. The first is through a driver's driving pattern and other evidence on the scene of the arrest, such as the driver's appearance. If these indicate that you are driving while impaired by alcohol, you can be arrested. You can also be convicted based on your blood alcohol content (BAC) alone, following the state's per se laws. These state that it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher.
South Dakota also has interesting laws that relate to what a "vehicle" is. You can be convicted for DUI even if you are on horseback. Riding a bicycle while drunk is also grounds for a South Dakota DUI conviction.
DUI Accidents South Dakota
In South Dakota, 1st and 2nd offenses will be considered as class 1 misdemeanors, while 3rd offense is a class 6 felony. If it's a case of 4th and subsequent offenses, they are all classified as 5 felonies.
Following is an extract of data in 2008 - South Dakota DUI / Drunk Driving Statistics
•33 fatal accidents in South Dakota were reported with at least one driver having a BAC of 0.08% or above
•34 people were killed in South Dakota by DUI accidents with at least one driver having a BAC of 0.08% or above
•7 people were killed in South Dakota in DUI accidents where at least one driver having a BAC between 0.01% and 0.07%
•41 total deaths reported in South Dakota with at least one driver having a BAC of 0.01% or above
If you are arrested for DUI in South Dakota, you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. The state has an implied consent law, which means that you are giving your consent to this test by driving in the state. If you refuse to submit to the test, this action can be used against you in your court appearance.
All punishments for South Dakota DUI cases are handled by the criminal courts. The Department of Motor Vehicles works with the court to determine license suspensions, so you will not face a separate hearing with the DMV. You will want to have an attorney working with you on your South Dakota DUI case as you head to court to help protect your right to drive and earn the least number of consequences for your crime.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are convicted of a South Dakota DUI offense for the first time, you can expect to face the following consequences:
You are considered a first-time offender even if you have prior DUI convictions if those convictions occurred more than 10 years ago, because South Dakota has a 10-year washout period. This means it is possible for you to have a prior DUI conviction and still be treated as a first-time offender.License Suspensions for South Dakota DUI
You will also lose your right to drive for a period of time after being convicted of a South Dakota DUI offense. Typical license suspension times are as follows:
If you refuse to take the BAC test, your license suspension may be increased by up to one year. You may be eligible to receive a work license after serving a portion of your suspension. This license allows you to go to and from work and any court-ordered education classes.Insurance Consequences
When you apply to get your license back after your license suspension, you will have to have car insurance. However, your current insurance provider may choose to drop your coverage after your DUI conviction. If you are not dropped, your rates will increase. Shopping for new coverage will not likely help the situation, because you will find that a new insurance provider is likely going to charge high premiums for your business as a result of your DUI conviction.