Is It Legal to Eat and Drive in South Dakota?
It's great to have summer back again here in the Sioux Empire, however, along with summer weather, comes a rather extensive laundry list of activities that could have you and your family pressed for time. You know, things like running the kids to softball, baseball, soccer, the waterpark, you name it.
And that's just you playing taxi cab for your kids, not to mention all you've got going on yourself.
When things begin to get a little hectic in life, it's not uncommon for most folks to start looking for shortcuts to help them save time. You know, like maybe grabbing a quick bite to eat while playing Uber driver for your family.
This begs the question, is it even legal to eat while behind the wheel of a vehicle in South Dakota?
Actually, not anymore. Things like eating, texting, talking on the phone (without a hands-free device), and adjusting the entertainment and navigation systems in your vehicle while driving all fall under South Dakota's Distracted Driving Law which could subject you to a healthy fine should you get caught.
South Dakota's "Distracted Driving Law" went into effect on July, 1st of (2020), and if you get nabbed for not following it you could be looking at a fine in the vicinity of $500.00 and 30 days in jail depending on the offense.
According to Northernplainsjustice.com, House Bill 1169 states that drivers can now be stopped by police and charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor just for holding or handling a cellphone. That offense could get you the aforementioned $500 fine and 30 days in jail sentence in some cases.
If you simply get caught mowing down a Whopper and fires while motoring down the street, you're more than likely looking at the same fine a person would get for texting and driving, which is in the neighborhood of $100.00 here in South Dakota. Just enough money to take the happy out of any meal.
Remember, Distracted Driving kills thousands of people each year here in the U.S., so please keep that in mind the next time you attempt to multitask behind the wheel.
Put the Big Mac down, quit searching for the last few fires at the bottom of your McDonald's bag and put both your hands back on the wheel and your both eyes back on the road where they belong.
Source: Northern Plains Justice
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