Kinney Law, pc

Spearfish Office
121 W. Hudson Street
P.O. Box 729
Spearfish, SD 57783

Phone: 605-642-2147
Fax: 605-642-4079
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Rapid City Office
625 1/2 Main St
Suite 2
Rapid City, SD 57701

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Sturgis Office
2275 Lazelle Street
Sturgis, SD 57785

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605-642-2147
Fax 605-642-4079

Spearfish Criminal Defense Blog

The consequences of an underage DUI on your teen

Raising a teenager comes with many challenges, from school to relationships. One challenge you do not want to face as a parent is your teen driving while drunk. If it does happen, and your son or daughter has a DUI charge, you may have many questions about how it will affect your teen's future.

You may worry that a DUI conviction will make it difficult for your child to apply for college or employment. You may be worried your teen is on a slippery slope, or maybe this incident came as a complete surprise. No matter the circumstances, it is important to know what a first-time DUI will mean for your teen.

Can a drug dog sniff your car at a traffic stop?

South Dakota enjoys a thriving tourist business, but many visitors bring their medical marijuana prescriptions from another state, not realizing that South Dakota law does not recognize the prescription as legal. If the police stop you in a routine traffic stop, can they use a drug dog to search your vehicle?

 

South Dakota's penalties for repeat DUI offenders

If you are ever pulled over and charged with drinking and driving in South Dakota, you can expect to have to forfeit your license for somewhere between 30 days and a year. You may find yourself charged with the crime if you blow into a Breathalzyer and it shows your blood alcohol content to be above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

When marijuana is legal in your state but not in many others

Marijuana laws in the United States tend to get more flexible and expansive every year. As of the beginning of 2017, such states as Colorado, California and Nevada allow recreational use. Medical use is okay in these states as well as in Montana and North Dakota. However, in South Dakota, along with many other states, marijuana is not legal in any form. This can spell trouble when tourists, such as Sturgis rally-goers, visit South Dakota.

Hygiene products may influence breath test results

Maybe you have heard the urban myth that you can beat a breathalyzer simply by sucking on a penny, which has been around since at least 1994, according to Snopes. Even though the myth is completely false, people still try it today. Many attempt to fool a breathalyzer using mints or mouthwash. Not a good plan, because these products often contain small amounts of alcohol that will actually inflate the blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

What could affect the accuracy of a breath test?

If a law officer pulls you over on the suspicion of drunk driving, you may be facing a breathalyzer test. The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can be measured when you breathe into this small device. While this test can help officers determine your blood alcohol concentration level with considerable accuracy, the results can be skewed or negated by a variety of factors.

The dangers of mixing alcohol and prescription drugs

Most people know that drinking and driving is dangerous. Perhaps you never have more than one drink if you need to drive home at the end of the night. What you may not know is that prescription drugs can make this situation dangerous regardless of how much you drink. Any combination of alcohol and prescription drugs can lead to a DUI or even death.

If you take prescription drugs, you should know the following information before getting behind the wheel. 

What does 'implied consent' mean for South Dakota DUIs?

If South Dakota police pull you over because they suspect you're driving under the influence, you can usually expect a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer. If you fail those tests, you might be taken to the station for a urine or blood test. But do you have to take it?

This is where the "implied consent" comes in. This is an area where laws across the country are rapidly being questioned - and changing.

Charged with a drug crime in the Black Hills? What now?

Facing drug charges in South Dakota can be stressful for anyone. Many tourists with a valid out-of-state medical marijuana prescription are stunned to learn that South Dakota law does not recognize that prescription as valid. In any situation -- whether the allegations involve possession or a more serious distribution charge -- the potential consequences are staggering. You likely have many questions about how a drug charge (and potential conviction) can impact your life. An experienced defense lawyer can give you the guidance you need.

Step One: Understanding The Charges And Potential Penalties

To start things off, it is crucial for you to understand what you are facing. South Dakota controlled substance laws are harsh. While possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is treated as a misdemeanor, the consequences can still bring jail time, fines, the loss of driving privileges and other direct penalties imposed by the state. But, there are external problems that can also arise. Criminal background checks into the future can adversely impact housing and job opportunities. For college students, financial aid may be at risk.

Sturgis police are aggressive during the motorcycle rally

Thousands of motorcyclists participate in the annual Sturgis rally each year. While the news media is comparing 2016 to last year in terms of attendance, it should be noted that 2015 marked the 75th anniversary of the popular event and drew record crowds. A strong presence in South Dakota related to this year's rally includes a strong presence of law enforcement officers who are looking to enforce any law they can.

Visitors of South Dakota, local residents alike may be under heavy scrutiny from law enforcement. Local police are very aggressive in enforcing laws, especially related to drug possession and alcohol-related offenses. A DUI arrest or charge for possession of marijuana can turn an otherwise enjoyable experience at the rally into a daunting challenge.

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