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South Dakota Drunk Driving Laws

Let's face it - no one plans on getting a DUI. And when you do get one, it can be one of the most confusing and emotionally trying situations you've ever been in. You don't know which way is up, and you don't know where to turn.

That's why your first call should be to a South Dakota DUI lawyer who can guide you through this difficult time. Keep in mind, not all attorneys are DUI experts. Make sure the one you choose is a specialist in this highly complex area of the law. With a specialist in your corner, you give yourself better odds of getting a favorable verdict in your case.

And since it's your license and your freedom that's on the line, you also need to take an active interest in your case. Don't just sit back and let your DUI lawyer make all the decisions for you. It's your future. Help yourself make informed decisions by learning more about South Dakota DUI laws. The best way to get started is by reading the overview below.

South Dakota DUI Basics

Like most states, South Dakota has 2 basic theories of prosecuting DUI cases. The first method is known as the traditional way of proving impairment by circumstantial evidence. In these cases, officers use their judgment to determine if you're impaired or not. They do this by analyzing your driving patterns, your performance on the field sobriety tests, your comments, and your general behavior during the traffic stop. Of course, one officer's judgment is subjective, and it should be scrutinized by your South Dakota DUI lawyer.

The other way of trying DUI cases is by using per se laws. This means that anyone operating a vehicle while having a BAC of .08% or higher will be charged with a DUI. While this method appears unbiased and scientific, the fact is BAC tests aren't always accurate. Outside factors can skew the results, causing some individuals to be unfairly arrested for DUI. A DUI lawyer can analyze this evidence to ensure its accuracy.

You should also be aware that South Dakota's definition of 'vehicle' is more comprehensive than most states. You could get a DUI from riding a bike, horse, or just about any other moving object.

South Dakota DUI Penalties

Of course, anyone arrested for a DUI wants to know what penalties they might be facing. The guidelines for South Dakota DUI penalties are as follows:

First time DUI offenders face a license suspension of at least 30 days. You will also be fined up to $1000, and you could spend as long as one year behind bars.

If this is your second DUI offense, your penalties include a one year driver's license suspension, fines up to $1000, up to one year in jail, and attendance to a court ordered chemical dependency program.

On your third DUI offense, you'll be charged with a felony. Your penalties include fines up to $2000, imprisonment for up to 2 years, license suspension for at least one year after you get out of jail, and completion of a chemical dependency program.

South Dakota DUI Lawyer

The bottom line is this - South Dakota DUI charges need to be taken with the highest level of seriousness. If you've been charged with a DUI, don't waste another second; find a South Dakota DUI lawyer today. Their guidance will give your case the focus and support it needs to ensure you get a proper defense.

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