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South Dakota Court Records

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What is a DUI and a DWI in South Dakota?

Driving with alcohol in the blood or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense in South Dakota. A DUI or DWI in South Dakota involved driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol or with alcohol in the blood (SD Codified L § 32–23–1).. South Dakota DUI offenses have a range of penalties, depending on the severity of the offense. Applicable penalties could range from fines and license revocation to imprisonment. In South Dakota, the Department of Public Safety and the South Dakota Unified Judicial System manages and penalize DUIs and other road traffic offenses.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in South Dakota

Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is typically referred to as DUI in South Dakota. State laws (SD Codified L § 32–23–1) refer to the offense as Driving Under the Influence (DUI); however, counties like Minnehaha refer to Driving While Intoxicated, which can be abbreviated to DWI. Essentially, DUI and DWI mean the same thing in South Dakota.

What happens when you get a DUI for the First Time in South Dakota?

A first-time DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor in South Dakota. When a person faces arrest for a first-time DUI in South Dakota, the Department of Public Safety may revoke the person’s license for no less than 30 days. However, if the offender presents proof of financial responsibility to the court, the court may permit the person to drive to work (SD Codified L § 32–23–2).. However, such a person must complete 24/7 sobriety testing and counseling programs. First-time DUI offenders may pay up to $2,000 fines, and the court may revoke offenders’ licenses for up to one (1) year. While South Dakota has no mandatory minimum jail term, persons arrested for first DUI offenses may face up to one year in jail.

How Likely is Jail Time After a First DUI in South Dakota?

Jail time is not likely after a typical first DUI in South Dakota. Although first DUI offenses carry jail terms of no more than one year, South Dakota has no minimum mandatory jail term for first DUI offenses; therefore, an offender may or may not face a jail sentence. The sentence the court awards depends on the court’s discretion and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors in each case.

What are the Typical Penalties for a DUI Conviction in South Dakota?

South Dakota typically penalizes DUI offenses with jail terms, fines, probation, license revocation, and interlock device installation. The severity of the penalty depends on the severity of the offense; aggravated and repeated violations bring more severe sentences.

  • 1st DUI offense: in South Dakota, a first DUI offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by revoking the driver’s license for at least 30 days and up to one (1) year. The court may also sentence a first DUI offender to jail for no more than one (1) year and fines of up to $2,000.
  • 2nd DUI offense: A second DUI offense in South Dakota is also a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by an unconditional revocation of the offender’s license for no less than one (1) year. The court may also penalize 2nd DUI offenses with fines of up to $2000 and jail terms of up to one (1) year.
  • 3rd DUI offense: Third and subsequent DUI offenses in South Dakota are felony crimes. A third DUI offense is a Class 6 felony in South Dakota. The court may penalize this offense with prison terms of up to two (2) years, fines of up to $4000, and license revocation for at least one (1) year.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in South Dakota?

DUI convictions stay on South Dakota records for ten (10) years. If the offender meets all the sentence requirements, the person may petition the court to seal or expunge the records after ten (10) years. However, records of Class 1 and 2 felony crimes and Class A and B felony crimes are not eligible for expungement in South Dakota.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How do I Find DUI Checkpoints in South Dakota?

DUI checkpoints are legal in South Dakota. The Department of Public Safety conducts checkpoints to reduce drunk driving instances by discouraging road users in the state from driving or operating vehicles while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. Interested persons may find updated information about DUI checkpoints on the South Dakota official website. The Department of Public Safety releases lists of expected checkpoints in the state before the checkpoint activities begin.

Which is Worse; a DUI or DWI?

In South Dakota, a DUI is no different from a DWI. Typically, the applicable penalties for DUI or DWI offenses include fines, jail terms, probation, community service, supervised treatment programs, and license revocation. Other consequences also apply, such as increased insurance premiums.

What is an Aggravated DUI in South Dakota?

DUI offenses with aggravating factors attract additional penalties in South Dakota. Aggravating factors include a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17% and vehicular assault, which is when a driver causes physical harm to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol. Suppose a person drives under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants while a minor is in the car. In that case, the driver is guilty of child endangerment, an aggravated DUI. Vehicular homicide is another example of an aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI offenses attract harsher penalties, including longer jail terms, higher fines, and extended license revocation periods.

What Happens When You Get a DWI in South Dakota?

A DWI is the same as a DUI in South Dakota; therefore, offenders may expect the same penalties as DUI offenses. Upon arrest, the court may revoke a DUI offender’s license for a minimum of 30 days. The other penalties applicable depend on the offense’s nature, whether it is an aggravated offense, repeated, or the first offense. First DUI offenses in South Dakota have no minimum mandatory jail term, and the court may recommend probation instead of a sentence. Subsequent and aggravated offenses carry much harsher penalties.

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