No License to Drive in South Dakota
- No License to Drive in South Dakota
(Ron's Response Below Article)02/28/2008
Follow-Up: No License To Drive
It could shock you to know how many people are on the road and don't have a drivers license, either because it was taken away or they simply never got one. On Wednesday night’s Eye on KELOLAND we showed you people driving away from the Minnehaha County Courthouse after pleading guilty for not having a license.
So what are the penalties and why aren't they being enforced?
As people walked out to their cars just minutes after being in court for not having a drivers license, KELOLAND's Lou Raguse asked why they were breaking the law, again.
We caught them easy enough, so why isn't law enforcement doing the same?
Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Dave Nelson says, “I don't think there's any question but that we can be and probably should be much more aggressive, particularly with repeat offenders.”
Nelson says the number of people who drive with a revoked or suspended license is astounding.
He says, “We have people driving on the streets of Sioux Falls, on the streets on South Dakota that aren't eligible to get a drivers license for the next five years or longer because of their history of driving while suspended, or driving while revoked, or driving without proof of insurance.”
Nelson says this class two misdemeanor can send a person to jail for 30 days...or even up to a year. But he says that rarely happens.
“Driving without a license is a very foolish reason to go to jail. Some people do when they repeat enough, but typically that's not what the penalty is,” Nelson says.
Nelson says he's tried to fix the serious problem before.
He says, “We experimented with that several years ago where I had members of the Police Department come over to courtroom 1A and follow these people out into the parking lot and cite them and we were successful in doing that. But again that's a very very labor intensive and expensive and time consuming proposition.”
He says it essentially comes down to money, and it would be too expensive to put everybody who drives without a license in jail.
We contacted judges who see people daily for driving without a license and asked them what they think could be done to keep them from behind the wheel. Two we spoke with on the phone didn't want to comment on camera. And one told us it happens every day. Sheriff Mike Milstead says they just don't have enough resources to make sure those without a license don't drive away from court.
© 2008 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.Ron Branson's Response:It is interesting that South Dakota is now having problems enforcing their driving licenses laws. During the 2006 election cycle the subject of driving licenses was brought up in the legislature's alleged "Resolution" against South Dakota JAIL4Judges http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2006/bills/HCR1004p.htm wherein it is said:"WHEREAS, the author of Amendment E has publicly stated that with the passage of Amendment E, Judicial Accountability Initiated Law members from across the country will "purposely drive to South Dakota...just for the privilege of getting a traffic ticket so you can demand a jury trial."So now South Dakota is finding it difficult to enforce their driver's license law against unlicensed drivers. J.A.I.L. raised the question during the election as to how they were going to enforce the law against unlicensed drivers by obeying their Oath's of Office in providing a Jury trial to each and every driving offense as provided in the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Sec. 2, clause 3, "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury." Once one determines that driving offenses has nothing to do with impeachment, it becomes incumbent upon all judges to respect the Constitution regarding jury trials, or out they go with the loss of half their retirement. No wonder they feared the passage of J.A.I.L. so much in South Dakota. If it became so in South Dakota, it would have subjected the entire judiciary to the same constitutional standard in all fifty states. J.A.I.L. is the only way we the People are going to turn around this nation once again accountable to the People.- Ron Branson