Driving under the influence (DWI) of alcohol is a criminal offense in South Dakota, and it carries serious penalties. If you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, you can be charged with DWI. In addition, the state has an enhancement process in place for those with with multiple DWI convictions, which can result in more severe consequences. In order for a prior DWI offense to be used for enhancement, the defendant must have been convicted prior in time to the current offense.
22-6-5.2. Enhanced penalty for second, third, or subsequent violations–Limitation.
No enhanced penalty may be imposed for any second, third, or subsequent violation, except for an offense pursuant to the provisions of chapter 32-23, unless the defendant was convicted of or plead guilty or nolo contendere to the prior offense previous in time to committing the relevant second, third, or subsequent offense.
Source: SL 2005, ch 120, § 430; SL 2012, ch 119, § 1.
One of the most severe consequences of a DWI conviction in South Dakota is the revocation of your driver’s license. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, your license can be revoked for a period of 30 days to a lifetime. In some cases, you may be eligible for a restricted license, which allows you to drive for certain purposes, such as work, school, essential purposes or medical appointments.
Another consequence of a DWI conviction in South Dakota is enrollment in the 24/7 Sobriety Program. This program requires participants to undergo regular alcohol testing, either through breath tests or continuous alcohol monitoring, to ensure they remain sober while driving, during probation or as a bond condition to be able to get out of jail. Failure to comply with the terms of the program can result in additional penalties, including jail time and loss of the restricted permit.
In addition to the 24/7 Sobriety Program, those convicted of DWI in South Dakota may also be required to undergo mandatory alcohol evaluations. These evaluations assess the individual’s alcohol use and determine if there is a need for further treatment. The results of these evaluations can be used to develop a treatment plan, which may include counseling, rehabilitation, or other forms of support.
For those with a BAC of .17 or higher, there is an additional penalty in South Dakota. If you refuse to take a blood test, your license could be automatically revoked for a period of one year. However, if you agree to take the test and your BAC is .17 or higher, you may be eligible for a work permit if you have a valid drivers license and insurance and you participate in the 24/7 alcohol monitoring program. This permit allows you to drive for work-related purposes. Persons that have a CDL may lose their CDL for one year after a conviction for a DWI first offense even if they get a suspended imposition of sentence. Persons that get a second offense DWI could lose their license for 10 years and subsequent DWI’s could result in the loss of the CDL for a lifetime. This is because the conviction by law cannot be shielded from the agency that monitors CDL’s. As a result persons with CDL’s will most likely lose their job and will be uninsurable for the three years that it stays on their insurance records.
In conclusion, DWI offenses in South Dakota are serious crimes that can result in the revocation of your driver’s license, enrollment in the 24/7 Sobriety Program, mandatory alcohol evaluations, and other penalties. If you are facing a DWI charge, it is important to seek the advice of a qualified Sioux Falls, South Dakota, DWI, DUI, Driving under the influence criminal defense attorney like Sonny Walter to understand your rights and options and to give you advice on the best options to help minimize the consequences.