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If you have been drinking, be careful where you sit

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Whether you live in the Sturgis area or visit regularly, you probably love the many bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. After all, few things are better than enjoying a craft beer while gazing into the Black Hills. Still, if you drink and drive, you face serious DUI consequences under South Dakota law.

In South Dakota, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08%. Rather than climbing behind the wheel after a night on the town, you should find another way home or to your hotel room. Keep in mind, you do not have to be driving to be charged with a DUI.

Control of the vehicle 

In a list of frequently asked questions, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety reminds motorists that driving a vehicle is not a requirement for a DUI charge. On the contrary, if you have actual physical control of the vehicle, officers may arrest you for violating state law. You may be considered in control of the car if you are sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition. If your BAC is above the state’s legal limit, you can be charged with DUI even if you are not actively driving a car at the time.

Sobriety checkpoints 

In general, it is not a good idea to sit in your vehicle until you are sober but you should also never try to drive to your destination, no matter how close it is. In addition to regular DUI patrols, law enforcement agencies put up sobriety checkpoints. At these checkpoints, officers stop vehicles long enough to determine whether their drivers have consumed too much alcohol before driving on a public roadway.

Because you do not have to be driving to receive a DUI in South Dakota, you should develop a transportation strategy before heading to your favorite bar or restaurant. With a bit of planning, you can avoid the negative consequences of a DUI altogether.