It is that time of year again. Time for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. This year’s rally starts on August 2 and goes through August 11. As most of the country knows by now, Sturgis is the quintessential motorcycle event where riders from virtually every state in the union gather each year to share motorcycle events and stories. Unfortunately, however, they also tend to share a considerable amount of alcohol and drugs.

If you intend to be part of this year’s Sturgis festivities, either as a participant or as an observer, you would do well to curb your own drinking and drugging. Why? Because local and state officers watch for such activity, and drug and other arrests continue to soar.

2018 statistics

During last year’s Rally, officers made 84 DUI arrests, 84 misdemeanor drug arrests, 36 felony drug arrests and seized six vehicles, all in Sturgis alone. In the Rapid City district, they made an additional 33 DUI arrests, 54 misdemeanor drug arrests and 20 felony drug arrests. They did not, however, seize any vehicles. All told, the 2018 totals break down as follows:

  • DUI arrests: 117
  • Misdemeanor drug arrests: 138
  • Felony drug arrests: 58
  • Seized vehicles: 6

2017 statistics

The previous year, the totals broke down as follows:

  • DUI arrests: 130
  • Misdemeanor drug arrests: 131
  • Felony drug arrests: 38
  • Seized vehicles: 8

Needless to say, you risk not only your freedom but also your life if you choose to drive while under the influence. Traffic accidents abound during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, most notably ones between motorcycles and other vehicles. Unfortunately, a fair number of these result in serious injuries or even death.

So if you want to enjoy the Sturgis festivities to their fullest extent this year, it is a good idea to forgo drinking and/or drug use for those two weekends and the week in between.