Is It Legal to Sleep in Your Car in South Dakota?
Is it legal to sleep in your car in South Dakota?
I admit I've done it before, I'll be it, I was in my youth when I did, and very intoxicated at the time. Looking back at the situation, I guess it was better than the alternative, which would have been driving under the influence.
So in hindsight, I'm glad I passed out in my car. I am also very fortunate that a law enforcement officer didn't find me, because that little stunt would have resulted in a DUI in this state had I been caught.
The stark reality these days is many people in the nation, simply don't have a place to call home. The homeless population across the country is really bad right now, even in a state like South Dakota.
Now I realize, you don't have to be homeless to have the urge or the need to sleep in your vehicle. I mean who hasn't pulled over alongside the road on a long turn-and-burn trip to catch a couple of winks, right?
The question becomes, is it legal to do that in South Dakota?
You should know, there is no state or federal law that prohibits you from sleeping in your car. You are within your rights to do so in the great state of South Dakota. However, you can be arrested for sleeping in your vehicle if found intoxicated.
Here in South Dakota, the best, and probably the safest place to catch some sleep behind the wheel is at a state rest area. According to SmartFinancial.com, commercial drivers can crash at state rest stops for up to 10 hours, while other drivers can catch a little shut-eye for up to three hours.
The site also says if you live in South Dakota and are looking to take a short nap in your car, any legal parking space should be fine. You just need to be careful about parking on someone else's private property. It's entirely possible that law enforcement might approach you about trespassing or loitering.
Other places in South Dakota to crash in your car include...
State and national parks. Often times they too have designated parking areas where you can sleep in your car for short periods of time. I'm also fairly sure, that the Walmart stores here in Sioux Falls allow you to park in their parking lots overnight. I know I've seen a number of RV units parked out in front of the Walmart on Louise Avenue on occasion. You might want to check with the respective Walmart store first before attempting to do that.
Basically, you should be just fine sleeping in your car, as long as you do so in a designated location. Just don't attempt to crash in your car, while intoxicated. If caught, there's a good chance you'll end up spending the night on an uncomfortable cot in a state-run hotel with a roommate named Ben Dover.
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