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The top 3 criminal charges to avoid at the Sturgis 2024 Rally

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws thousands of people from all over to South Dakota. The event is a social highlight for many regional motorcycle enthusiasts and is also an economic boon to the area, as restaurants and hotels see a surge in demand.

Unfortunately, local police departments also notice a noteworthy increase in criminal activity during the rally. The Department of Public Safety released data from 2023 indicating that certain types of offenses occurred with alarming frequency at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last year.

Those attending in 2024 may want to adjust their behavior so that they can avoid the three most common criminal charges reported in Sturgis during the rally in 2023. The following were the top three types of arrests made during the 2023 rally.

Misdemeanor drug arrests

There were 57 misdemeanor drug arrests over the weekend of the 2023 rally. It was more than twice as many arrests reported in the Rapid City district over the same time. Minor possession offenses and other low-level drug violations occurred often enough for police officers to arrest dozens of people.

Drunk driving arrests

Alcohol and motorcycles can be a very dangerous combination. Riders are at high risk of poor outcomes if they lose control. Unfortunately, not everyone who rides and socializes makes the best choices possible. Some people make decisions that put them at risk of injury or worse. The police in Sturgis arrested 44 people or impaired driving during the 2023 rally.

Felony drug charges

Minor possession offenses weren’t the only drug violations taking place during the 2023 rally. Felony offenses including trafficking and possession with intent also occurred at a far higher rate than normal. There were 24 felony drug arrests in Sturgis in 2023 during the rally. The local police department also issued 364 traffic citations during that time. Police officers must have been incredibly busy, as they also reported issuing 1026 warnings to people for activity that could lead to citations or arrest in the future.

Police officers may sometimes make mistakes because they see criminal activity where there is none. Major events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may lead to unfair arrests of individuals who didn’t actually break the law. Learning more about what police watch for during these events might help people avoid unfair arrests and criminal prosecution.