Have you been enjoying the thrilling events at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Along with rides, concerts, contests and food, your entertainment has probably included consuming alcohol to beat the heat and relax.

Whether it is your first time attending or you go every year, one thing to always remember is to stay off your bike after drinking. Driving under the influence out of state is still a serious offense. In addition to the physical harm you can cause yourself and others, drunk driving comes with legal consequences that will follow you home.

South Dakota DUI laws

The state BAC limit is 0.08 percent, but take into account factors that can affect how your body metabolizes alcohol, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight 
  • Health conditions
  • Medicine

The summer weather and what you eat at the rally can cause you to reach the limit faster than you normally would. Also, even if your bike is not moving, simply having an open container of alcohol while sitting on your motorcycle with the keys in the ignition is enough to qualify for DUI charges.

Consequences of a DUI

If an officer pulls you over, you must submit to a breath test. If it is positive, the officer can then require you to take a chemical test. You have the right, however, to choose a second technician to perform the test at your expense, which can be beneficial to your case if the two results do not match.

Upon arrest, you may have to face a night in jail. You will also receive a license suspension, though you have the possibility of keeping limited driving privileges. A conviction, and even the arrest and charges, will result in South Dakota informing your home state of the incident and legal records for additional penalties. These consequences not only will ruin your time at the rally but also may lead to early or late travel home, increased insurance rates and perhaps even employment issues. Avoiding these effects requires the services of an experienced South Dakota criminal defense lawyer.