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DUI in South Carolina

DWI in South Carolina

It is illegal in South Dakota to drive or operate any type of motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is called DUI, and drivers convicted of a DUI face serious penalties including license suspension, fines and mandatory attendance of alcohol abuse classes.

Driver charged with a DUI should contact a South Dakota DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI attorney can evaluate your DUI case and determine the best course of action for your defense.

In South Dakota, driving drunk is most commonly referred to as "driving under the influence" or DUI. Drivers can be arrested in South Dakota if:

  1. The driver's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher (as shown by testing the blood, urine or breath) when they are operating a motor vehicle. This is referred to as per se DUI.
  2. The driver is under the influence of any legal or illegal drug, alcoholic beverage or any combination of controlled substance.
  3. The driver is under the influence of any legal or illegal drug or alcoholic beverage and the amount of the substance has made them unable to operate a vehicle safely.
  4. The driver is under the age of 21, under the influence of alcohol and their BAC is 0.02% or higher.
  5. The under-aged driver has consumed any illegal substance and there is evidence still present in their body.

Under South Dakota law, drivers who have a license have given their implied consent to take chemical test if a police officer suspects they are intoxicated. The law allows the driver to request a second test at any location of their choosing which they must pay for out of pocket. Refusal to submit to a BAC test could result in a license suspension for up to one year (in addition to criminal charges).

Penalties for DUI in South Dakota

South Dakota drivers who are arrested for DUI can face severe fines and penalties. The types of DUI penalties each person will receive will depend on their criminal past and the number of times they have been convicted of DUI. Talk to a South Dakota DUI lawyer to find out the types of penalties you may be assessed for your DUI charge. General information is provided below.

First DUI Offense (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

  • Potential jail stay up to 1 year
  • License suspension from 30 days up to 1 year
  • Required to pay a maximum fine of $2,000
  • Required purchase of SR22 Insurance coverage

Second DUI Offense (Class 1 Misdemeanor)

  • Potential jail stay up to 1 year
  • License suspension for at least 1 year (conditional license for employment may be allowed at the discretion of the court)
  • Required to pay a maximum fine of $2,000
  • Required to participate in a chemical dependency program
  • Required purchase of SR22 Insurance coverage

Third DUI Offense (Considered a Class 6 felony)

  • Potential prison term of up to 2 years
  • License suspension for at least 1 year (conditional license for employment may be allowed at the discretion of the court after the driver completes a addiction counseling course)
  • Required to pay up to a $4,000 fine
  • Required to participate in a chemical dependency program
  • Required purchase of SR22 Insurance coverage

Fourth DUI Offense (Considered a Class 5 felony)

  • Potential prison term of a maximum of 5 years
  • License suspension for at least 2 years (conditional license for employment may be allowed at the discretion of the court after the driver completes a addiction counseling course)
  • Required to pay up to a $10,000 fine
  • Required to participate in a chemical dependency program
  • Required purchase of SR22 Insurance coverage

Fifth DUI Offense (Considered a Class 4 felony)

  • Potential prison term of a maximum of 10 years
  • License suspension for at least 3 years (conditional license for employment may be allowed at the discretion of the court after the driver completes a addiction counseling course)
  • Required to pay up to a $20,000 fine
  • Required to participate in a chemical dependency program
  • Required purchase of SR22 Insurance coverage

Hiring a South Dakota DUI lawyer
There are many DUI cases prosecuted each year in South Dakota. Unfortunately, what is anything but routine for you can become common and routine for a prosecutor and a judge. DUI lawyers understand that a DUI conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, and they can give you an intelligent, experienced voice in court.

Most DUI attorneys offer an initial consultation for free to review your DUI charges. Even if you have decided to plead guilty to your DUI offense, it is a good idea to make sure you understand the DUI laws which apply to your case. Do not try to handle this alone. If you have already been convicted of multiple DUI charges or if you have injured or killed another person it is even more critical to find a competent DUI lawyer to argue your DUI case.