Attorney General Marty Jackley
Proposes Aggravated Vehicular Battery
for South Dakota
PIERRE, S.D. – In South Dakota, we average about a half dozen tragic vehicular homicides every year because of impaired driving.
“It is time to make South Dakota streets safer and to hold those that take innocent life by their drunken actions more accountable. I commend the Governor, our States Attorneys and Legislators for working with me toward implementing an aggravated vehicular homicide law to protect South Dakota,” said Jackley.
Under South Dakota’s current law, the maximum penalty for vehicular homicide is fifteen years of which a defendant may only have to serve 30% because vehicular homicide is not currently designated as a violent crime. In order to both deter dangerous drunken driving and to hold offenders accountable for their actions, the Attorney General is proposing an aggravated vehicular homicide law to address the most serious offenders. South Dakota’s existing manslaughter statute and vehicular homicide law would remain in effect. The new aggravated vehicular homicide law is aimed to provide both an enhanced maximum penalty of up to 25 years and a violent crime designation for an increased parole designation of 50%. It is aimed at capturing the following three categories of homicide offenders:
- Persons with repeat DUIs of two or more convictions now entering the felony stage;
- Persons previously convicted of vehicular homicide or vehicular battery; or
- Persons that are at a high BAC of .17% or greater.
The Attorney General’s proposed legislation as an amendment to SB44. The proposed amendment is anticipated to be heard on February 18 at 8:00 a.m. in Senate Judiciary.