Checkpoint near Rapid City leads to several arrests
RAPID CITY, S.D. — A checkpoint set up in the Rapid City area on Friday night led to several arrests.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol says it was set up on U.S. 16, about 10 miles west of Rapid City.
It lasted for just an hour and a half, but in that time authorities arrested three drivers for Driving Under the Influence.
The patrol also set up a check on U.S. 14 near Ft. Pierre. That lasted for one hour, with 41 vehicles traveling through and three drives arrested for DUI.
Since the beginning of this year there have been 25 alcohol-related crashes reported in the Rapid City area. In South Dakota as a whole, there’s been 115 reported accidents with drinking as a contributing factor.
On average, 28 people die a day from drunk driving crashes in the U.S. Many of those accidents actually happened with drivers whose BAC was less than 0.08 percent. Even at .05 percent, drivers can have slower response times to unexpected events.
In South Dakota, you can be charged with driving under the influence even if your BAC level is less than .08 if it’s evident alcohol consumption has impaired your driving. Additionally, you can be charged even if you’re not actually driving. For instance, a person sitting with the keys in the ignition can be charged.
Young people, between the ages of 16-24, make up about 40 percent of the drivers involved in fatal, alcohol-impaired accidents. Minors who start drinking at a young age are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
You can learn more about impaired driving and state laws on the Department of Public Safety’s impaired driving page.
The department announced that there will be checkpoints in 19 counties across the state this month.