DUI & DWI in South Dakota
Arrested for a DUI or DWI?
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The legal blood alcohol content limit in South Dakota is 0.08%. However, as long as your BAC is 0.05% or higher, you can still be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI) if it is determined that you couldn't drive safely because of your alcohol consumption.
If you're under 21 years old, the limits are more stringent. You can be convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol content of 0.02%.
Additionally, you don't even have to be driving to be charged with DUI. As long as you are intoxicated and judged to be in physical control of a vehicle―such as sitting in the driver's seat with the keys in your possession― you can be found guilty.
Your BAC may be measured through a sample of your blood, breath, or urine. By simply driving a vehicle in South Dakota, you have given your consent to allow testing for any controlled drug or substance.
Of course, you can refuse to take the test. But, if you do, your license will be revoked.
You can also request to have a qualified technician of your choice do the testing. You'll have to pay for the test, though. And, you'll still have to give the police officer a sample.
If you are convicted of DUI, your punishment will vary depending on your history.
1st offense ―Your license will be revoked for anywhere from 30 days to 1 year. In some cases, you may be allowed to drive to and from work, or to an approved alcohol counseling program.
2nd offense ―Your license will be revoked for at least 1 year. You may be allowed to drive to and from work after successfully completing a court-approved alcohol-treatment program. If you're caught driving (outside of what's permitted) you'll have to spend at least 3 days in jail.
3rd offense ―Your license will be revoked for at least 1 year. You will not be allowed to drive to and from work. And, if you are caught driving, you'll be incarcerated for at least 10 days.
4th offense ―Your license will be revoked for at least 2 years. You will not be allowed to drive to and from work. If you're caught driving, you will spend at least 20 days in jail.
All offenders will also be faced with court costs and fines.
You'll have to pay a $50 - $200 reinstatement fee, and any application fees, when you go to an exam station to reinstate your driving privileges.
Since your license was revoked, you'll have to take the vision and knowledge tests again, and possibly the driving test. (See our Applying for a New License section for details.)
Plus, all DUI offenders are required to show proof of insurance through a SR-22 filing with the state.
The SR-22 form is proof that you have insurance on all the vehicles you own. Even if you don't own a vehicle, you'll still need to have an operator or non-owner insurance policy.
Insurance companies keep a close watch on DUI violations. Your insurance premiums may go up drastically, and you may be labeled a "high-risk" customer. Even worse, your insurance company may cancel your policy, leaving you to search for insurance with the "high-risk" driver tag, meaning you'll have to pay much higher premiums.
For more information about DUI offenses, visit this Office of Highway Safety page.