Mandatory DWI sentences passes through the state Senate

(Juliana Alford)
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 8:01 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Monday House Bill 1170 was approved by the South Dakota Senate and sent to Gov. Kristi Noem for final approval. With her OK, repeat drunk drivers will have mandatory prison time.

For a fourth DWI in a 10-year period the offender would get at least a one-year prison sentence. A fifth DWI offense in a 10- year period would get at least three years, and sixth offense within 15 years and at least two within 10 years would get at least five years. With the sentences one year parole is also possible. The court would not be permitted to suspend sentences.

However, there will be two options, the offender either goes through mandatory sentencing or goes through a DUI court program.

This is an 18-to-24-month program that is rated as 80 percent successful in the state.

“Hopefully we can get people into that program instead of in prison, get them to rehabilitate, get them to you know be productive members of society, rejoin their families and everything good, but if they can’t that’s where the mandatory comes into play,” said Rep. Chris Karr (R-Sioux Falls).