How do license suspensions work in South Dakota?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2023 | criminal defense |

In general, a DUI conviction in South Dakota results in a driver’s license suspension for the offender. However, the length of the suspension and the options available can vary based on the circumstances of the case.

It is important for South Dakota drivers facing DUI charges to understand the consequences of a license suspension.

IMPORTANT: It may be possible to retain driving privileges after a DUI arrest by requesting an administrative hearing.

In South Dakota, you have up to 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest to contest the suspension of your license. Following is the basic process for getting a driver’s license reinstated:

  • Submit a request for an administrative hearing to the Department of Transportation
  • Receive a date for your court hearing within 30 days of submitting the request
  • Attend the administrative hearing with your defense lawyer
  • Receive a decision from the judge

DUI convictions

A DUI conviction in South Dakota typically results in fines, a license suspension and possible jail time. Offenders might also have to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation and complete a treatment program. In some cases, there is remote monitoring and testing to ensure sobriety after a conviction.

The length of a license suspension for a DUI can range from less than a month to multiple years, depending on the charges and the offender’s prior history. A person with a history of numerous recent DUI violations is more likely to receive a longer suspension than a first-time offender with no criminal record.

Restricted licenses

When someone has a suspended driver’s license, they cannot legally drive a vehicle. However, most people in South Dakota rely on driving for essential activities like commuting to work and attending medical appointments. Therefore, some drivers with DUI convictions can obtain a temporary restricted license that allows some limited vehicle use. Courts can specify the locations and occasions to which the restricted license holder can drive. Furthermore, many people with restricted licenses must also use ignition interlock devices that require the driver to have a blood alcohol concentration under the legal limit when starting their vehicle.

License suspensions are a common consequence of DUI convictions in South Dakota. Fortunately, options like restricted licenses and ignition interlock devices enable some vehicle use after a DUI.