SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two men who had multiple driving under the influence (DUI) arrests were booked Wednesday in the Minnehaha County Jail.
The two men had a total of 17 DUI arrests between them with the latest charges According to data, South Dakota has 965.8 drivers arrested for DUI for every 100,00 licensed drivers.
A Forbes Advisor analysis ranks South Dakota as the fifth worst state for DUIs. Safehome.org said South Dakota is a leader in DUI arrests. The state has ranked sixth and third in other year studies.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) examined repeat DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenders in 1995 after 12 states responded with data for the study. About a third of all drivers arrested for DWI are repeat offenders according to the reported data. The study also showed that one out of eight intoxicated drivers involved in fatal crashes, had a prior DWI conviction within the past three years. Twenty four percent of all drivers arrested for DUI in South Dakota in 1993 were repeat offenders. The data continues to be cited today by various organizations.
South Dakota had 423 people die in crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver from 2009-2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
It’s not just the drivers who die in alcohol crashes. According to the CDC, in 2020, 38% of those who died in all alcohol-impaired crashes in the U.S. were passengers of the alcohol-impaired drivers, drivers or passengers of another vehicle or nonoccupants.
Alcohol-involved crashes resulted in 14,219 fatalities, 497,000 injuries and $68.9 billion in economic costs in 2019, accounting for 20% of all crash costs, the NHTSA reported in January 2023.
The CDC reports that 2.7% of South Dakota drivers reported driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days in 2018.
The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office releases a statewide crime report each year. The most recent was released in December 2022 with 2021 data.
The number of reported arrests in 2021 for DUI was 5,654 in 2021, which was an increase of 12.7% or 618 arrests from 2020.
Here’s a look at some of the DUI totals by county and city from 2017-2021.
The state’s least populous county is Jones with about 900 people. The county had two DUI arrests in 2021. There were nine in 2020, four in 2019, two in 2018 and two in 2017.
The state has 66 counties. The 33rd most populated county is Walworth with about 5,300 people.
Walworth had five DUIs in 2021. The highest number was 13 in 2019 followed by 11 in 2017. There were eight in 2020 and seven in 2018.
The state’s most populous county of Minnehaha had the same number of DUIs in 2021 and 2021 at 124. The highest amount over five years was 143 in 2017. The county had 115 in 2019 and 104 in 2018.
Not every city in South Dakota has a police department, but, for those that do, how does the DUI data break down in cities that do.
Worthing has a population of about 900 people. There were no DUI arrests from 2017-2021.
Kadoka’s population is around 500 people. Police had one DUI in 2017-2019 and none in 2020 or 2021.
Go southeast from Kadoka to North Sioux City with a population of about 3,000. After a five-year high of 36 DUI arrests in 2020, there were none in 2021. The city had seven in 2019 and 17 in 2018 and 19 in 2017.
What were the arrests in the state capitol of Pierre? The city’s population is about 14,000. Ninety DUI arrests was a five-year high. Police had 69 in 2020, 72 in 2019, 77 in 2018 and 83 in 2017.
The state has a high percentage of those under 25 involved in fatal alcohol-related fatal crashes. Drivers in the 18-24 range account for 40% of all alcohol related fatal crashes, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
Drivers in the 16-24 age range account for about 20% of all fatal crashes, not just alcohol-related.
So what do DUI arrests look like for departments on some colleges campuses?
The South Dakota State University campus police in Brookings had 21 DUI arrests in 2021. The highest in the five-year period was 39 in 2017. There were 23 in 2020, 38 in 2019 and 29 in 2018.
Brookings Police had 208 in 2021 which was the highest in a five-year period. There were 138 in 2020, 157 in 2019, 126 in 2018 and 118 in 2017.
The University of South Dakota campus police in Vermillion had one in 2021. Vermillion Police had 67 DUIs in 2021. There were 42 in 2020, 45 in 2019, 68 in 2018 and 70 in 2017.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally drew about 525,000 attendees in 2021. Law enforcement track various arrests during the annual rally. There were 122 DUI arrests during the 2021 rally. The numbers are from the DPS.
But the rally isn’t the only time there are DUI arrests in Sturgis. Sturgis Police reported 142 DUIs in 2021. In 2020 there were 127, 139 in 2019, 129 in 2018 and 103 in 2017.
The legal limit in South Dakota is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%.
The NHSTA reports that in 2020, 84% of the drivers in the U.S. in fatal crashes with BACs of .01 or higher in had BACs at or above .08 while 55% had BAC levels at or above .15 BAC.
Multiple legal sites and organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) point to a 2011 CDC study that showed that a driver can drive up to 80 times while impaired until arrested.