RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - In South Dakota, driving under the influence is classified as over .08 blood alcohol content or if the driver is impaired by drugs to the point where it is unsafe to drive.
"People make poor choices," said Eric Holmquist, a Senior Police Officer for Rapid City Police Department. "Unfortunately, we cannot prevent people from going and driving, but we are out there and we are looking into finding the intoxicated drivers and take them off the street."
In South Dakota, a first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/ or a $2,000 fine and a 30-day suspended license. Second offense is also a misdemeanor, which could lead to up to a year in jail and/ or a $2,000 fine and a year-long license suspension. The third offense, within 10 years, is a felony with up to two-years in state penitentiary and/ or a $4,000 fine and a suspended license for up to two years.
Even when your license is revoked, you can get work permits that allow you to drive to and from work with some limits. However, if you are caught driving under revocation, you are given like additional period of revocation.
If someone around you is drinking and planning on driving, know that you could face legal ramifications.
"Criminally, if your brother was using your car, and was drunk and, you know, hurt somebody, you couldn't be charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular battery," said Timothy Rensch, a defense attorney at Rensch Law Office in Rapid City. "But civilly, if you had done something, like given him the keys when you know he was drunk, when you had a duty to maybe prevent him from getting behind the wheel, there are theories of civil recovery that could result in damages that you may have to pay in the event of a jury trial."
Rensch said that, in South Dakota, there is nothing that would lead to your car being permanently taken away, though he said that he has seen license suspensions for up to eight to 10 years.
Law enforcement stresses to never drink and drive. If you've been drinking, either plan ahead for a designated driver, or call Lyft, Uber, or a taxi service to come and take you home.