DUI & DWI in South Dakota

South Dakota Limits and Procedures

The legal blood alcohol content limit in South Dakota is 0.08%. However, if 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.

Refusing a Chemical Test

South Dakota has a "implied consent" law, which means that if you choose to operate a vehicle in South Dakota you consent to give a chemical test for drugs or alcohol if asked to do so by law enforcement. If you do decide to refuse a chemical test be prepared to have your license suspended for up 1 year. However, you will have the option to request a hearing by the Secretary of the department of Public Safety to review the suspension. If you decide you want a hearing to contest your suspension you must request one within 120 days of your arrest. For more information on hearings contact the Department of Public Safety at (605) 773-3178.

DUI Penalties

If you are convicted of DUI, your punishment will vary depending on your history and previous DUI charges. In addition to any penalties listed below you may be required to participate in the 24/7 sobriety program. This program requires periodic testing and a fee of up to $3 per day. It can require a Ignition Interlock Device (IID), for more information see below, as well as mandatory testing with the sheriff's department or other agency. If you have a BAC of 0.17% or higher you will also be required to have a evaluation by a state approved chemical dependency counselor. You will be responsible for the fees of the evaluation.

All DUI can include a chemical dependency evaluation as well as educational classes. If you are eligible for a restricted license you will have to show proof of insurance, employment or school attendance and proof of counseling programs if required by the court.

1st offense:

  • License revoked: Minimum 30 days can be up to 1 year.
  • Restricted license: Up to 1 year.

2nd offense:

  • License revoked: 1 year.
  • Restricted license: Duration is at the discretion of the court.
  • Driving while license is suspended: Mandatory imprisonment 3 days.

3rd offense (Class 6 Felony):

  • License revoked: 1 year.
  • Restricted license: Duration is at the discretion of the court.
  • Chemical dependency counseling.
  • Sobriety 24/7 program
  • Driving while license is suspended: Mandatory imprisonment 10 days.

4th offense (Class 5 Felony):

  • License revoked: 2 years.
  • Sobriety 24/7 program.
  • Driving while license is suspended: Mandatory imprisonment 20 days.

5th and subsequent offenses (Class 4 Felony):

  • License revoked: 3 years.
  • Sobriety 24/7 program.
  • Driving while license is suspended: Mandatory imprisonment 20 days.

DUI Penalties Under 21 Years old

If you are under 21 years old and are convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.02% or over you will face these penalties:

  • 1st offense: License revoked 30 days.
  • 2nd offense: License revoked 180 days.
  • 3rd offense: License revoked 1 year.

Ignition Interlock Device

If you are eligible for a restricted license you may be required to have a IID installed in your vehicle. Installation fees vary by vendor. You will also be required for a max daily fee of $1, an enrollment fee of $40 and an inspection fee of $20. Periodic inspections of your IID will be required.

Please note that the fees can change at any time. If you fail any part of the IID program, including not paying the fees, you will be dropped from the program and be required to have twice a day chemical testing.

License Reinstatement

You'll have to pay a $50 - $200 reinstatement fee, and any application fees, when you go to an South Dakota Department of Public Safety 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.

Additional Information

For more information about DUI offenses, visit the Department of Public Safety website.
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