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Stiff penalties exist for drunk, drugged driving in South Dakota

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

Driving under the influence (DUI) isn’t just a crime that someone who has consumed alcohol and gotten behind the wheel can be charged with. South Dakota Code section 32-23-1 describes how anyone suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or any controlled substance including prescription drugs can be charged with a DUI as well. Anyone in South Dakota can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher.

The penalties that a defendant faces if they’re convicted of a DUI in South Dakota vary depending on a person’s age and how many previous convictions that they have on their record.

An adult arrested for their first DUI will generally be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor provided that their BAC fell between .08 and .16% at the time of their arrest. The arrestee will automatically have their driving privileges revoked for between 30 days and a year. A defendant who is convicted of their first DUI may be ordered to pay as much as $2,000 in fines and/or be sentenced to up to a year in jail.

Adult motorists who are stopped on suspicion of DUI who are found to have a BAC of .17% or greater may face similar penalties to other first-time offenders. Individuals with higher percentages are generally required to undergo an evaluation performed by a chemical dependency counselor as well.

Anyone under the age of 21 who has a BAC of .02% or higher may be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. An individual convicted of such a crime will automatically have their license suspended for 30 days for their first violation or 180 days for a second one. An underage defendant may also be assessed a $500 fine and be sentenced to as long as 30 days in jail.

Not being able to lawfully drive around in the aftermath of your drunk driving arrest can be inconvenient. Your attorney can help you petition a judge to restore your driving privileges so that you can travel to counseling, school, your doctor’s or attorney’s office or work.

A criminal defense attorney can help by standing up for your rights when you are charged with a crime. Your lawyer can advise you of defense strategies that you may want to pursue that will aid you refocusing your attention on leading a productive life.

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