Under South Dakota law, if you are over the legal limit, it doesn’t matter how impaired you felt at the time you were arrested—the South Dakota DWI penalties that you face are the same. Even if you only had one drink or felt fine when you got behind the wheel, it’s your blood-alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest that matters in the end.
It’s important to understand that, even if it is a first-time offense and you weren’t driving recklessly, you could still be facing license suspension, fines, and jail time if you are operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher. If you have a history of previous alcohol-related convictions, then you could be facing felony charges, huge fines, long-term license suspension, mandatory rehabilitation, or counseling programs, and years of jail time. In addition, if you were caught with a BAC of .17% or higher, all of the penalties you face could become more severe.
This isn’t to say, however, that you can’t be charged with a DUI if your chemical testing comes back with a BAC under .08%. There are situations in which this is possible, such as when you were involved in an accident, or if you are a minor or commercial driver. Keep in mind that, any time you have been drinking before driving, there is a chance that you could be charged with a DUI.
A conviction can come with serious South Dakota DUI penalties, but an experienced Sioux Falls DUI lawyer may be able to help you get the charges dropped or your penalties reduced. To learn more today in a free consultation, reach out to us at 888-733-2992.
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