DUI Laws In South Dakota

DUI laws in South Dakota have some interesting wrinkles that can affect the outcome of a traffic stop. The circumstances under which a drug test can occur, when a someone is considered driving under the influence and what limits apply to whom are all matters for individual states to decide. Before operating a vehicle in South Dakota, whether or not alcohol is involved, drivers should familiarize themselves with South Dakota DUI laws.

Being tested

Under current DUI laws in South Dakota, drivers give consent to be tested just by operating a vehicle. Refusing to take the test means revocation of the driver’s license for a year. The exception to this ruse is that anyone who already has two DUIs must provide a sample on request. The sample to be tested may consist of blood, breath or urine. The driver can have the sample tested at his own expense by any qualified technician of he chooses, but to do this a sample must be furnished to the police.

The elastic limit

South Dakota DUI laws set a blood alcohol content, also known as blood alcohol concentration, (BAC) limit of .08 per cent. This does not mean that testing lower than this guarantees getting off on a DUI charge. If a driver is unable to safely operate her vehicle, she can be considered to be driving under the influence with a BAC of as little as .05 per cent. When it comes to being cited for DUI, the subjective opinion of the arresting officer about safe operation is quite important. Things are even worse for drivers under twenty-one, who can be charged if they are found to have a BAC of even .02 per cent.

Being “in control of” a vehicle

DUI laws in South Dakota do not require someone to actually be driving a vehicle in order to be convicted of DUI. He must only be in control of the vehicle. This means that someone sitting in the driver’s seat holding the keys can be charged even though the engine is not running and the vehicle is not moving. If it is obvious that the person charged is the driver, he need not even be in the car to be convicted of DUI. Drivers may also be charged if they are under the influence of any substance, including alcohol, that is being used improperly, or if they are under the influence of a combination of drugs, whether or not it includes alcohol.

Penalties under South Dakota DUI laws range from six month revocations for first offenders under twenty-one to two year revocations for fourth-time offenders, with jail time for those caught driving. For their own safety as well as to avoid legal entanglements, drivers in the state should know and comply with DUI laws in South Dakota.