10 Facts To Know About DUI In South Dakota

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of the most common criminal offenses in South Dakota. Our state’s DUI laws are complicated and can often get confusing.

Here are ten facts you need to know about DUI in South Dakota.

Fact #1 –What is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage?

Very simply, a person’s BAC is a measurement of how much alcohol is in their system.

Fact #2 – What is the legal BAC level in South Dakota for determining if a person is driving while under the influence of alcohol?

In South Dakota, if an individual has 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in their blood, as shown by chemical analysis of their breath, blood, or other bodily substance, they are presumed to be driving under the influence.

Fact #3 – Do I need to have a BAC level of 0.08 percent to be charged with DUI?

No. If it is clear that alcohol consumption has rendered a driver incapable of driving safely, you can be charged with DUI. However, if your BAC level is under 0.08, you are presumed to NOT be under the influence of alcohol.

Fact #4 – Do I have to be driving a vehicle to be charged with DUI?

No. A person who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle (including a motorcycle) can be charged with DUI, even if he is not actually driving the vehicle.

Fact #5 – I was pulled over at a DUI roadblock by law enforcement. Is this legal?

Yes. As long as law enforcement uses a neutral policy when stopping vehicles and they minimize any inconvenience to you, roadblocks are legal in South Dakota.

Fact #6 – Will a South Dakota DUI conviction go on my driving record?

Yes. A DUI conviction in South Dakota will go on your driving record and remain indefinitely.

Fact #7 – What happens if I’m from another state but I’m convicted of DUI in South Dakota?

Technically, if you are from another state and are convicted of a DUI in South Dakota, the South Dakota court will suspend your driving privileges in South Dakota. However, a South Dakota court technically does not have jurisdiction over another state so it can’t suspend your out-of-state driver’s license.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to continue driving without any consequences because it’s likely that your home state has an agreement with South Dakota to share DUI conviction information. This allows your home state to suspend your driver’s license when you get home.

Fact #8 – What impact will a South Dakota DUI conviction have on my insurance?

A South Dakota DUI conviction will very likely raise your insurance rates or result in the cancellation or non-renewal of your insurance policy.

Fact #9 – What is an SR-22 filing?

An SR-22 filing is a certificate of proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) submitted by an insurance company licensed to do business in South Dakota. South Dakota requires an SR-22 filing for any DUI conviction. Failing to maintain an SR-22 may result in the revocation or re-revocation of your driver’s license.

Fact #10 – What happens if I miss my DUI court appearance?

It is never good to miss your South Dakota court appearance. At a minimum, the court will likely issue a summons or warrant for your arrest. You may also face additional charges. Often, your only option is to turn yourself in on the outstanding warrant.

Charles Huff
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Family Law and Criminal Law Attorney