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Drunk driving is a serious offense, no matter what state it takes place in. Everyone reacts differently to alcohol, and even when someone does not feel drunk, his system may have a blood alcohol content (BAC) that makes it illegal for him to get behind the wheel. Even drivers who are only half way there, at .04% BAC, have an elevated chance of getting involved in an accident. It has been reported that an alcohol-related car accident happens every two minutes. It is better to be safe than sorry – drinking and driving is a bad idea.
Basic DUI Laws for South Dakota
In South Dakota, drivers may not legally operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content at or above .08%. Every state in the nation uses .08% as the benchmark for an “impaired” driver. Commercial drivers and underage drivers are subject to much lower BAC limits. South Dakota DUI laws cover controlled substances, alcohol and prescription drugs issued by a physician. DUI laws in South Dakota specifically prohibit physician-prescribed drugs from being used as a defense against a DUI conviction in court.
South Dakota supports the implied consent law, which means that drivers agree to have a blood, breath or urine test performed if an officer suspects them of driving while intoxicated. If a person refuses to submit to the tests, he may lose his license for one year, and his refusal will act as evidence used against him in a court trial for a DUI.
Penalties Associated with a DUI in South Dakota
Drivers arrested in South Dakota for drunk driving will receive an immediate license suspension for at least 30 days and up to one year. They will also receive a $1,000 fine and can be sentenced to jail time for up to one year. Depending on the individual, a restricted license may be possible.
South Dakota takes drunk driving seriously and will assess severe penalties for repeat DUI offenders. A second offense may bring up to one year of jail time and a license suspension of at least six months, and possibly up to one year. Fines will be $1,000 and drivers have the chance of obtaining a restricted license. They must also complete an alcohol treatment or chemical dependency program.
Once a driver is convicted of a third DUI, he will be charged with a class 6 felony offense. Up to 2 years of jail time is possible, and fines will be as high as $2,000. Drivers will lose their license for 1 year, with a possible restricted license, and will need to complete a chemical or alcohol dependency program.
South Dakota DUI Accident Rates
In South Dakota, the laws surrounding drunk driving have toughened up over the last few years, and for good reason. According to accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, in 2005 South Dakota had a DUI accident fatality rate that was almost double the national average. Fatality statistics are measured as a percent of total accidents by state, and also as a number of accidents per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. After much progress, South Dakota was able to bring its DUI accident fatalities down to match the national average by 2008. In the same year, South Dakota had 121 fatalities overall due to traffic accidents, with 29% of those attributed to fatalities involving at least one person with a BAC at or above the legal .08 limit.
SR-22 Requirements in South Dakota
Every driver convicted of a DUI in South Dakota will be required to carry SR-22 insurance. An SR-22 certificate showing financial responsibility must be filed with the state, and insurance companies usually assist with this process. Drivers must keep the policy in force for three full years without any break. If the driver cancels or otherwise discontinues the policy during the three-year probation period, the insurance company is obligated to inform the state’s motor vehicles department. The driver will receive an immediate license suspension, and will need to pay a $50 reinstatement fee. Additionally, the driver will have to start the three-year probation period all over again.
How much is car insurance after a South Dakota DUI conviction?
A DUI stays on an individual’s driving history for 10 years in the state of South Dakota. Over time, insurers will place less weight on a DUI, but it will continue to affect insurance rates to some degree for several years. When pricing premiums, insurance companies consider a driver’s age, gender, driving history, type of car driven, number of miles driven each year, and more recently, a driver’s credit history.
The best thing a person can do when searching for affordable SR-22 insurance is to obtain multiple quotes from many insurance companies. Every insurance company has its own method for determining premiums, based on years of historical accident data and internally developed algorithms. These are used to calculate premiums based on statistics and information about the customer and his specific situation.
South Dakota Car Insurance Companies for High-Risk Drivers
Several insurance companies in South Dakota are licensed to help drivers find quality, affordable SR-22 insurance. The good news is that if one insurance company cannot come up with an affordable rate, there are several others to choose from and insurance is a very competitive business. Additionally, for SR-22 insurance or any auto insurance, bundling other types of insurance policies such as a homeowner’s policy with auto insurance can give customers a combined-policy discount on premiums. Allstate Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Geico and State Farm are some of the most popular insurers offering SR-22 coverage. Each one of these insurance companies offers free quotes on their websites, and Progressive even offers a tool for consumers to compare Progressive’s quotes against quotes from competitors.