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Driving While Intoxicated
Home » Areas of Practice » Criminal Defense » DWI

In South Dakota the legal limit has gone down to .08. The legislature recently determined that it was appropriate to go back 10 years to determine the level of DUI, instead of 5 years, or 3. Law enforcement is taking an active approach in stopping motorists. Oftentimes, law enforcement does not react to situations, instead, they seem to create probable cause, stop vehicles, and hope everything is in order. That's part of the reason Bratland Law has had cases dismissed for the following reasons:

    1. Vehicle stopped based on law enforcement claiming license plate bulbs did not clearly illuminate the license plate.

    2. Vehicle stopped for allegedly crossing the fog line.

    3. Vehicle stopped for allegedly crossing the center line.

    4. Vehicle stopped for failing to stop at stop sign. (Actually in this particular case, law enforcement stopped the vehicle for failing to stop at a stop sign that didn't exist. The stop sign under question had been taken to the shop for repair and law enforcement claimed the motorist knew, or should have known that the stop sign was usually there.)

    5. Vehicle stopped for failing to have properly functioning taillights. (Felony charge dismissed by court).

    6. Four-wheeler operator stopped for not having proper eye protection.

    7. Law enforcement entering home to question and arrest motorist on suspicion of driving under the influence. (Several cases dismissed on grounds that law enforcement did not have a warrant or consent to enter, and remember, consent of someone who does not reside in the home is not valid consent). Law enforcement can enter home with a warrant, consent, or by showing exigent (emergency) circumstances exist. South Dakota does not authorize the entry into the home to preserve evidence (ie, blood alcohol level) for a misdemeanor crime.

    8. Law enforcement refused to allow motorist the opportunity to obtain an independent blood test as authorized by statute.

    **Additionally many cases are reduced from the original charges as a result of raising the issue of the validity of the stop.
Address: 15 1st Ave SE, Watertown, SD 57201 - phone: (605) 753-5957 - email: scott@bratlandlaw.com
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