While every state has laws prohibiting drunk driving, each is slightly different. The differences range from the terminology used to the penalties applicable if convicted.
In South Dakota, the term for drunk driving is driving under the influence (DUI). Here are some of the frequent misconceptions people hold about it:
- The police cannot charge you if you blow under the Breathalyzer limit
If the police suspect you are drunk, they will ask you to blow into a Breathalyzer. If the result reads 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or more, they will arrest you and charge you with a DUI. Yet, they can still issue a DUI if you test under. Instead of using the test result as evidence, they would give examples of what you did to make them think that alcohol affected your ability to drive safely. For example, you were veering across the lane lines or slow to respond to changing stop signals.
- The police cannot charge you unless you are driving
You go to a bar for one beer. You bump into some friends and end up drinking more. You decide the correct thing to do is sleep it off in your car, then drive home in the morning. Unfortunately, the police could still prosecute you if they consider you have “physical control” of the vehicle. Keeping the keys out of the ignition may help, yet it is still a tricky area.
- You cannot contest a DUI charge
Many people assume if the police charge you, a conviction is a given. Not so. There are several ways to contest a DUI charge, including challenging the evidence or the stop and arrest procedure.