Hefty charges for drinking and driving: Think before you drink this rally season

STURGIS, S.D. -With the rally kick-off on Friday roads are already crowded with motorists. It can be difficult enough to see motorcycles while you’re driving but it becomes even more dangerous when alcohol is in the mix.

The Meade County State’s Attorney spoke to NewsCenter1 about the consequences of drinking and driving.

There is never a shortage of alcohol at the Sturgis motorcycle rally and unfortunately each year people choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Well, overall we get anywhere between a quarter to a third of our annual caseload in the 8 days basically. A lot of those are DUIs and possession of controlled substances,” said Kevin Krull, the State’s Attorney.

If you’re arrested while driving under the influence you will spend the night in jail and must face a judge the next day. If you’re on a motorcycle during the incident, the bike can get impounded or even taken away by the state.

Not only is drinking and driving a risk to your own life but also a risk to those around you.

“If you’re under the influence and you’re involved in a crash and you do kill somebody, that would be vehicular homicide. That’s a pretty serious crime,” said Krull.

Not only will you have to deal with taking another person’s life but vehicular homicide is a Class 3 felony, which means you can spend up to 15 years in prison and be charged a $30,000 fine.

If you hit someone and they survive, it’s considered vehicular battery which is a Class 4 felony. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a possible $20,000 fine.

“If you are going to drink it’s important to have a designated driver or be somewhere where you’re not going to have to drive and you’ve had overnight to recover or sober up. So you just need to be careful and make good decisions,” said Krull.

With rideshare services such as Uber, Lyft, and even taxis you can prevent an accident with the click of a button on your phone.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News