Sturgis Rally
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Sturgis-Dot-Com-DUI-1920x1001 DUI First Appearance


A local DUI Attorney can help you understand the specific DUI laws in South Dakota. Remember, each State has different laws, penalties, and fines when it comes to a DUI conviction. Although you are being charged in South Dakota the consequences can follow you back to your home state. A DUI can cost you more than time and money it can lead to a lengthy suspension of your driving privileges. Don't go to court without your best defense – knowledge.

Consider the Insurance Costs:

You can expect your insurance premium to rise dramatically after a DUI conviction. It may not only double, but you could also lose your coverage entirely. Proof of insurance is mandatory in most states, which means that without coverage, you could have trouble getting to work everyday. Additionally, many employers require workers to carry coverage, which may mean that you could lose your job completely if it involves driving.

A person with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or greater is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol. South Dakota has taken this one step further by flatly prohibiting anyone from driving with this much alcohol in their blood, whether or not driving is impaired.

To prove a person is guilty of the offense of driving with a BAC of 0.08%, the following elements must be proven:

  • - The person drove a vehicle, and
  • - Alcohol was present in the driver's blood at a concentration of 0.08% or greater while driving.

In South Dakota a jury will usually be given the choice of finding a defendant guilty of driving under the influence and/or driving with a BAC of 0.08% or greater. Even if the defendant and witnesses could convince a jury that the driver was doing an outstanding job such as driving in a manner as cautious and conservative a jury can still find the person guilty if it believes their blood alcohol level was 0.08% or more while driving.

 DUI laws prohibit driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, driving under the influence of a drug, and driving under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug (legal or illegal), regardless of blood-alcohol level.

To prove a person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence, the following elements must be proven:

  • - The person drove a vehicle/motorcycle - that is, being in actual controlled of the vehicle/motorcycle.
  • - At the same time, the person was "under the influence" in that his or her ability to drive safely was affected to an appreciable degree by having drunk an alcoholic beverage, taken a drug, or combined alcohol and drugs.

 Some states refer to it as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), other states refer to it as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and a small group of states called it Operating Under the Influence (OUI). In South Dakota it is referred to as a "DUI." This criminal offense generally includes either driving under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it impairs your physical and mental faculties, or driving while you have a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater regardless of whether the alcohol has had any effect on you. The offense is also mistakenly known as "drunk driving" and although the term has no official meaning you don't have to be drunk (or driving) in order to be arrested and convicted of a DUI.

After you are arrested for a DUI, you will make your first appearance, commonly known as an arraignment. The arraignment is a court procedure during which you enter a plea and arrange other details, including bond and the scheduling your next appearance/proceeding in your case. It is vital that you evaluate your case before deciding what to do next – especially if you want to fight your case. When you first appear and you don't have an attorney with you, the judge will ask if you are represented and if not whether you plan to hire a lawyer. If you are represented, an attorney will handle all of these details and advise you on a direct course of action.

Be Safe and Enjoy the Rally. . .

The information in this Blog is intended to convey general information about the practice of law. It is not intended to take the place of legal advice. Viewing this Blog does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information in this Blog does not replace obtaining individual legal advice from a licensed attorney. You are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney if you have a legal problem. 

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