3 facts about South Dakota's DUI laws you should know

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety wants you to stay safe and not become a casualty. According to their website, 28 people die in drunk driving accidents daily. Out of all the motor vehicle accidents that occur each day, one out of every three involves someone driving under the influence.

South Dakota has enacted a few initiatives through the years to send a clear message: The state will not tolerate driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

1. Blood alcohol content

If a driver is operating a vehicle erratically and the police suspect alcohol is playing a part, they will request a breathalyzer test. Drivers have the option to turn down the test and request a blood test; however, their refusal may constitute a one-year suspension of their driving privileges. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater proves intoxication under the law.

2. Dangerous driving

There are times when a person driving unsafely is not at the 0.08 BAC threshold. There are physical signs and symptoms that indicate impairment at some level. When dangerous driving and physical indicators may point to impairment of some kind, officers have the right to arrest someone.

3. Control of the vehicle

Sitting in the driver's seat with the engine off but the keys in the ignition could spell trouble. A person does not have to be actively driving a vehicle to face DUI charges; one must only be in control of the vehicle. Control of the vehicle means there is proof that the intent to drive was there.

In recent years, that state has enacted initiatives such as "15 minutes a Night" and "24/7" to help educate the public about the dangers of driving impaired. The state has only the public's safety in mind and will continue to advocate for tougher laws and further education on the matter.

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