DUI Lawyers and DWI Lawyers of Rapid City, SD

Looking for a good DUI lawyer doesn’t have to be a difficult or intimidating task. RENSCH LAW has many years of experience and is here to help you. In Misdemeanor cases RENSCH LAW can make most appearances for the defendant without the defendant present in court so valuable work days are not wasted. 

DUI Arrest
  • DWI or DUI, commonly known as drunk driving, is a Class 1 Misdemeanor for the first and/or second offense, and is a Class 6 Felony for the third offense within 10 years.
  • More than three DUIs within 10 can be Class 5 or Class 4 Felonies, accordingly.
  • A Class 1 Misdemeanor subjects one to the possibility of up to 1 year in the county jail, a $2000 fine, or both, and a mandatory loss of driving privileges.
  • A Class 6 Felony subjects one to up to 2 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary, a $4000 fine, or both, and a mandatory loss of driving privileges.
  • Class 5 and 4 Felonies carry 5 and 10 years maximums, plus substantial fines, respectively.

A DUI arrest occurs if a person drives with a blood alcohol content (BAC) .08% or more by weight of alcohol in blood, or if a person is under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drug. A DUI can also cost a person a commercial driver’s license. A second offense DUI will render a truck driver ineligible for a commercial driver’s license and can result in the loss of one ‘s livelihood. A second offense also has onerous burdens of expensive alcohol treatment, actual jail time, and participation in twice daily preliminary breath tests (known as the 24/7 program), disallowing the consumption of alcohol for one year from the date of sentence.

Winning a DUI Case

DUI cases can be won outright if a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .08% and if a person is not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while driving. Cases at or near the legal limit can often be pled down to a Reckless Driving charge, which is also a Class 1 Misdemeanor but which does not enhance or subject one to a greater maximum penalty with subsequent convictions. This depends, though, on the facts of the case and the field sobriety tests.

DUI cases can also be won on a motion to suppress a stop for lack of reasonable suspicion, blood for lack of warrant or consent, or other reasons, depending upon the case. If a case cannot be won or thrown out, often plea agreements can be negotiated which lay out the type of sentence one would likely receive and allow for the timing.

Many times people think that if they get a drunk driving case they should just go in and plead guilty.

Many times though a lawyer can take a look at those police reports, scour them for constitutional violations, and possible turn the case into something that gets thrown out. If we can’t do that, we can work out the details of a plea agreement and possible get the case reduced.

If we can’t do that, we can at the very least, lead you through this very forign system so that you understand just what’s going on. And there are no surprises so you know just what’s coming to get prepared for. 

Many times people think that if they get a drunk driving case they should just go in and plead guilty.

Many times though a lawyer can take a look at those police reports, scour them for constitutional violations, and possible turn the case into something that gets thrown out. If we can’t do that, we can work out the details of a plea agreement and possible get the case reduced.

If we can’t do that, we can at the very least, lead you through this very forign system so that you understand just what’s going on. And there are no surprises so you know just what’s coming to get prepared for. 

DUI cases can be won outright if a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .08% and if a person is not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while driving. Cases at or near the legal limit can often be pled down to a Reckless Driving charge, which is also a Class 1 Misdemeanor but which does not enhance or subject one to a greater maximum penalty with subsequent convictions. This depends, though, on the facts of the case and the field sobriety tests.

DUI cases can also be won on a motion to suppress a stop for lack of reasonable suspicion, blood for lack of warrant or consent, or other reasons, depending upon the case. If a case cannot be won or thrown out, often plea agreements can be negotiated which lay out the type of sentence one would likely receive and allow for the timing.

Choosing the right attorney if arrested for DUI

If you are looking for a lawyer to deal with a drunk driving case, RENSCH LAW is there. RENSCH LAW can also assist in pointing the client in the right direction to have sentencing requirements done in advance which allow for driving/work permits, suspended impositions of sentence, arrangement of jail time, treatment, and favorable timing which allow clients to continue working. Please understand that while there are many standard and often ordered sentencing conditions, each case is different and there is no guarantee a judge or prosecutor will go along with any given request or sentencing provision.

RENSCH LAW scours the file to determine if there is any advantage to be made for the client upon technical legal grounds. If not, the RENSCH LAW works out the deal between the client and the state to resolve the case in the best possible fashion. RENSCH LAW, however, cannot guarantee a result, and each case is different. While this is true, RENSCH LAW has handled thousands of DUIs and will use the wealth of its collective experience to make the situation the best that it can be under the facts and the law.

South Dakota DUI Law – Codified Statutes and Law

32-23-1Driving or control of vehicle prohibited with alcohol in blood or while under influence of alcohol, drug, or intoxicant.

No person may drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while:

(1)    There is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in that person’s blood as shown by chemical analysis of that person’s breath, blood, or other bodily substance;

(2)    Under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, or any controlled drug or substance not obtained pursuant to a valid prescription, or any combination of an alcoholic beverage, marijuana, or such controlled drug or substance;

(3)    Under the influence of any controlled drug or substance obtained pursuant to a valid prescription, or any other substance, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving;

(4)    Under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and or any controlled drug or substance obtained pursuant to a valid prescription, or any other substance, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving; or

(5)    Under the influence of any substance ingested, inhaled, or otherwise taken into the body as prohibited by § 22-42-15.

32-23-1.2Submission to breath test required by officer–Chemical test after positive breath test.

Every person operating a vehicle which has been involved in an accident or which is operated in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall, at the request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a breath test to be administered by such officer. If such test indicates that such operator has consumed alcohol, the law enforcement officer may require such operator to submit to a chemical test in the manner set forth in this chapter.

32-23-2Punishment for prohibited driving–First offense.

If conviction for a violation of § 32-23-1 is for a first offense, such person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the defendant’s driving privileges shall be revoked for not less than thirty days. However, the court may in its discretion issue an order upon proof of financial responsibility, pursuant to § 32-35-113, permitting the person to operate a vehicle for purposes of employment, 24/7 sobriety testing, attendance at school, or attendance at counseling programs. The court may also order the revocation of the defendant’s driving privilege for a further period not to exceed one year or restrict the privilege in such manner as it sees fit for a period not to exceed one year.

For further Information from the South Dakota Legislature.

Information from South Dakota Division of Public Safety Driver’s Manual

If You Drink, When Can You Drive?

The best advice is if you drink alcohol, do not drive. Even one drink of alcohol can affect your driving. An alcohol drink is 1 1/2 oz. of 80-proof liquor (one shot glass) straight or with a mixer, 12 oz. of beer (a regular size can, bottle, mug or glass) or a 5 oz. glass of wine. Specialty drinks can have more alcohol in them and are the same as having several normal drinks. It takes about an hour for your body to get rid of each drink. So even if you have spread out your drinks, you should stop drinking at least one hour before you have to drive. There is no way to sober up quickly. Coffee, fresh air, exercise, or cold showers will not help. Time is the only thing that will sober you up.

For more information visit the South Dakota Division of Public Safety.

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