You were charged with DUI — and not even driving?

The laws for driving under the influence are quite strict in South Dakota. For example, law enforcement can still charge you with DUI if you parked your car, but they found you intoxicated while sitting behind the wheel and in control of the ignition key.

If this is your first offense, the court could revoke your license for up to one year. The penalty is automatic if this is your second or third offense. However, you need to be able to drive because there is no other way for you to get to work. What you need now is sound legal advice and support.

Implied consent

South Dakota is an “implied consent” state. This means that if you drive a motor vehicle here, you automatically consent to being tested for drugs or alcohol if requested to do so by a law enforcement officer. The legal limit is 0.08 percent, but officers can still charge you with DUI if your blood alcohol content is 0.05 percent and they judge you to be too drunk to drive safely. This is where a charge of DUI comes in when you are merely sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car. If you are under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.02 percent is enough to convict you of this offense.

If you refuse testing

Measuring your BAC can be done with a sample of your breath, blood or urine. If you refuse any testing, the court can suspend your driver’s license for up to one year. You do have the option of requesting a hearing by the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety concerning your suspension. However, you must make the request within 120 days of your DUI arrest.

Seeking legal help

As you can see, a lot of unexpected legal problems can occur just because you drink too much at a party and fall asleep in the driver’s seat of your car, keys in hand. If you are facing DUI charges, no matter the circumstances, remember that you can turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney who will work diligently to get the charges against you reduced or even dropped altogether.


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