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Sturgis police are aggressive during the motorcycle rally

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2016 | Criminal Defense, Firm News |

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.

A Conviction Will Track You To Your Home State If You Are Not A Resident Of South Dakota

Criminal charges can haunt you for years to come – whether you live in South Dakota or not. Many visitors to the rally purchase marijuana in other states where it is legal for recreational purchases and bring it along with them to the rally. With aggressive law enforcement, charges are a risk.

Over the past five years, Sturgis police responded to more than 300 calls reporting people for being in the alleged wrong place, or for being intoxicated, according to the Rapid City Journal. During the same time-frame, 270 people were arrested for drug possession charges (or unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia).

DUI Laws Extend To Prescription And Non-Prescription Medications

South Dakota’s DUI statute is very broad when it comes to controlled substances other than alcohol. Driving under the influence of pot is treated as seriously as drunk driving. Prescription drugs can be the focus of a South Dakota’s DUI statute — even when the accused has a valid prescription for the medication if authorities believe that the substance has rendered the driver incapable of safely handing the vehicle.