South Dakota Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing. South Dakota § 32-25-3

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $200, and
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 30 days

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $1,000,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than one year, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Speed Limits

  • 75 MPH on interstate highways
  • 65 MPH on other streets or highways
  • 55 MPH on township roads
  • 25 MPH on urban streets that do not have posted speed limits
  • 15 MPH in a school zone

South Dakota Speeding Laws

South Dakota has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In South Dakota you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in South Dakota you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

An offender's license is subject to suspension if they accumulate either 15 points within 12 months or 22 points within 24 months. The following points have been assigned to speed related violations: Reckless driving-8 points; drag racing-6 points; and, other moving offenses-2 points. The law specifically states that "other moving offenses" does not include "speeding offenses." (Comment: Since the term "speeding offense" is not defined, it is unclear whether such term includes all offenses related to vehicle speed or whether such term only means speed in excess of the speed limit.)

The following licensing actions are based on a person's driving record over the last 48 months: 1st suspension-60 days; 2nd suspension-6 months; and, subsequent suspensions-1 year. Licensing action is not mandatory. The licensing agency may issue restricted driving privileges for the purpose of allowing a person to engage in employment or to attend school. Note: The State legislature repealed the law that established the offense of "drag racing. 

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