South Dakota DUI Lawyers
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South Dakota is not only known for Mount Rushmore, it’s also known for tough-as-nails DUI/DWI laws. However, unlike many states, South Dakota does not have a separate sanction for an administrative license suspension. They do however, have the Motor Vehicles Division, which will revoke or suspend the driver’s license of those convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A DUI/DWI charge can be brought about in South Dakota in two different ways. The first theory is the traditional impairment where the prosecution will try to prove that you were driving under the influence. They will use field sobriety test results and poor driving patterns against you to prove this. The second theory is a violation of the “per se” law, which makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more. This means you don’t have to be impaired to have a DUI/DWI charge.
While plea bargains and probation are generally available to first offenders, you could face up to 1 year in jail. Your fine will range from $1,000 to $5,000 and your license will be suspended for at least 30 days. You must also complete 8 hours of classroom instruction on alcohol education for $150. Other penalties may include: community service, loss of job, vehicle impoundment, ignition interlock, insurance problems, and restricted travel.
South Dakota BAC
Like the other states, your blood alcohol content cannot exceed .08% or you are DUI/DWI. Your BAC can be determined by chemical testing. Police will ask you to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. Most often a breath test is given because police can administer it on scene.
Field Sobriety Testing
No pencils or paper for these tests. FSTs are given by police to help determine if you are drinking and driving. The most common are the HGN (horizontal gaze nystagmus), one leg stand and the walk and turn. These tests check for things such as involuntary eye jerking, balance and ability to follow instruction.
Installed in your car at your expense, this device prevents you from drinking and driving. You must blow into the machine alcohol-free to start your car.
If you’re under 21, your BAC cannot exceed .02% or you are DUI/DWI. The penalty for this is loss of license for 6 months.
Your DUI Lawyer
Luckily, if you live in South Dakota you can find a qualified DUI attorney to represent you. Make sure he or she is specialized in this field because it could cost you your case!