South Dakota Drunk Driving Laws

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in South Dakota?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration is .04 percent or greater. In South Dakota, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is
    .02 or more.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in South Dakota

  • A first-time offender faces up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. The driver’s license revocation period is 30 days to one year. A first-time offender whose BAC measured .17 or more must undergo a court-ordered consultation to determine chemical dependency. The offender must pay the cost of the consultation.
  • A driver who commits a second DUI within 10 years of the first offense faces up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. The driver’s license revocation period is at least one year.
  • A driver who commits a third DUI within 10 years faces up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $4,000, or both. The driver’s license revocation period is at least one year.
  • A driver who commits a fourth offense within 10 years faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. The driver’s license revocation period is at least two years.
  • A driver who commits a fifth or subsequent DUI within 10 years faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both. The driver’s license revocation period is at least three years.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties that may apply under South Dakota’s DUI laws, a commercial driver who commits a first DUI while driving any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. If, however, the driver was transporting hazardous materials at the time, the disqualification period is at least three years. A commercial driver who commits a second DUI while driving any vehicle will have his or her commercial license revoked for life, which may or may not be reduced to a period of not less than 10 years. Driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated is a Class 2 misdemeanor which can result in up to thirty days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Drivers Under 21

A person under 21 who commits a first DUI faces up to 30 days imprisonment in a county jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. For a first offense, the driver’s license suspension period is 30 days. For a second offense, the suspension period is 180 days. For a third or subsequent offense, the suspension period is one year.

Dram Shop

The South Dakota legislature found that it is the drinking of alcohol, rather than the serving of alcohol, that causes an intoxicated person to injure another. Therefore, there is no dram shop liability in South Dakota.

Criminal Liability for Sale of Alcohol to Persons Under 21 and to Obviously Intoxicated Persons

It is a crime for a licensed drinking establishment to serve alcohol to a person under 21 or to an obviously intoxicated person. Offenders face up to one year imprisonment in a county jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

Criminal Liability for Providing Alcohol to a Person 18 but Under 21

It is a crime to sell or give alcohol to a person who is 18 but under 21. Violators face up to 30 days imprisonment in a county jail, a fine of up to $500, or both.

Criminal Liability for Providing Alcohol to a Person Under 18

It is a crime to sell or give alcohol to a person who is under 18. Offenders face up to one year imprisonment in a county jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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