In South Dakota, you can be charged with DUI even if you aren’t on the road.

South Dakota’s laws make it a crime to either drive or “be in actual physical control of any vehicle” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, meaning you are behind the wheel and the keys are in the ignition. For you to be convicted on this charge, the state must prove the following:

  1. The vehicle was operable

  2. You were physically close enough to use the controls of the car

  3. Your physical position in the car “would enable [you] to actually operate the vehicle in the usual and ordinary manner”

A person is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. However, if a police officer judges a driver to be too drunk to drive safely even though they are under the legal limit, he or she may still be charged with DUI. If a driver is under 21, a BAC level of just 0.02 percent will suffice for a DUI conviction.

Even if you were not actually driving the car when you were arrested, and even if it is your first DUI offense, you could lose your driver’s license for 30 days or up to a year. If it is not your first offense, you may have your license suspended for at least a year. 

An attorney who is experienced with South Dakota’s DUI laws understands how serious a conviction can be in these cases. An attorney will advocate on your behalf and strive to make sure that none of your rights as a defendant are violated. 

At Anker Law Group, P.C., our criminal defense attorneys know the South Dakota DUI laws and have experience guiding defendants who were arrested for being behind the wheel while intoxicated. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call us at 605-519-5967. Our office is in Rapid City.

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Office Location

  • Rapid City Office


    1301 West Omaha Street
    Suite 207
    Rapid City, South Dakota 57701