Pennington County and South Dakota show a decline in DUI arrests

Local News

BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KELO) — Over the last couple of years, South Dakota has seen a steady decline in the number of DUI’s. In Pennington County, the decrease is a little more significant.

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol reported a decrease from just over 2,000 DUI arrests in 2019 to about 1,600 in 2020.

For law enforcement officers like Liz Cynkar, the that decline is great news.

“But regardless of the numbers, we’re always out there just making sure that everybody is staying off the roadway that shouldn’t be on the roadway,” Cynkar said.

Since 2018, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office has been seeing a steady decrease in the number of DUI arrests. In 2018, there were about 950 and in 2020 there were about 700.

Lt. Chris Hislip with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says since 2008, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft have helped with the decline in D-U-I’s.

“With all these other approaches to try and solve the problem, we are very happy to see whenever things decline, instead of always increasing,” Lt. Hislip said.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and State Highway Patrol say as the weather heats up and summer holidays approach, law enforcement tends to see more drinking and driving.

“However, COVID threw a wrench in that as well because folks were staying inside more with less outdoor activities to do so maybe they were drinking or maybe they weren’t, and that’s why they are down,” Lt. Hislip said.

Either way, law enforcement reminds everyone to drive sober instead of getting pulled over.

Law enforcement officials say if you notice someone who may be driving under the influence, call 911 or contact your local authorities.

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