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Even though the link between alcohol and car crashes is strong, many young drivers get behind the wheel with a sense of immortality.

While crashes are the worst consequence of drinking and driving, they aren’t the only ones teens need to know about. Underage drinking also carries a heavy legal cost. Sometimes, knowing the penalties involved may help deter a young person’s decision to drink alcohol. In South Dakota, there is a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving.

Under 21 Possession

In South Dakota, a violation of the possession law is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $200 and/or up to 30 days imprisonment plus a driver’s license suspension of 30 days to one year on a first offense. For a second (or more) offense, a violator faces a driver’s license suspension of 60 days to one year. If the minor is in a motor vehicle and in violation of this law, the driver’s license suspension on a first offense is six months and one year for second and subsequent offenses.

Under 21 Driving Under the Influence

If you are under 21 and driving and if your blood alcohol content registers between .02 and .079, you may be charged under this law. If you are convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 30 days, and maybe up to a full year. You may be fined and you might go to jail. The judge may also order you to perform community service or face other restrictions.

Driving Under the Influence

If your blood alcohol content is .08 or more and you are driving, you will be tried as an adult no matter how young you are.

  • FIRST OFFENSE is a Class 1 Misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment up to a year, or both. You will also lose your driver’s license for 30 days.
  • SECOND OFFENSE is a Class 1 Misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment up to one year, or both, and loss of driver’s license for one year. If a person is convicted of driving without a license during that one-year period, he/she will be sentenced to the county jail for at least three days, and that sentence cannot be suspended.
  • THIRD OFFENSE is a Class 6 Felony that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment up to two years, and loss of driver’s license for no less than one year. If you are convicted of driving without a license during that period, you will have to serve at least a 10-day sentence in the county jail.

If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you have to show special proof of insurance (SR-22) to the state for the next three years. If your insurance company notifies the state that your coverage is cancelled during those three years, your license will immediately be suspended again and you will have to pay the reinstatement fee again.

False IDs

There are additional consequences if you use a fake ID to try to buy alcohol. It is illegal for people under 21 to misrepresent their age to get alcohol, or to use a false ID. These are both class 2 misdemeanors punishable by fines up to $200, and/or a jail sentence of up to 30 days. In addition, a violator’s driver’s license may be suspended from 30 days up to a year for a first offense, and 60 days to a year for a second offense.

It is also illegal for someone over 21 years old to give his or her ID to a minor. This is a class 1 misdemeanor%