Forbes ranks South Dakota fifth with the drunkest drivers

DUI Reminder
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:45 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - St. Patrick’s Day brings people out to party, but when out celebrating law enforcement wants you to be safe.

Overall, in the U.S. every 45 minutes someone loses their life to a drunk driving crash which is about 32 people per day, according to the CDC. According to AWJ law, there are on average 300 car crashes on St. Patrick’s Day alone.

If you do decide to go out, there should be a game plan on who stays sober.

“Before you head out you definitely need to have a plan about who is going to be driving. Always have a designated driver that is going to stay sober the entire time and not have any drinks, and make sure they keep all the keys,” said Teal Schmidt, Sturgis patrol officer.

Forbes ranks South Dakota fifth with the drunkest drivers, and the state has the highest DUI arrests per 100,000 licensed drivers.

“A DUI is one of the things that is 100% avoidable. I think that there’s so many resources out there to the public that if they just think ahead a little bit, if they’re going to go out, and have a couple of drinks, that they can make a couple of choices to make our community safer,” said Brian Mueller, Pennington County Sheriff.

In South Dakota, it is illegal to drive with a .08% BAC or higher. When drinking this amount or more it impairs your self-control, concentration, muscle coordination, and judgment.

If you have been drinking there are options.

“Find a hotel that is the closest, you’re going to have to walk by there. Or start calling friends, get somebody there, anything hotel rooms and even an expensive hotel room is going to be cheaper than a DUI,” said Schmidt.

1 in 222 licensed drivers will be arrested for DUI.