Several New SD Laws Take Effect Today

It’s the first of July and that means several new laws go into effect today in South Dakota. Here are a few of them with the biggest impacts. Some veterans can now go to college for free in the state. HB 1069 allows for some veterans to attend up to four years of undergraduate classes at a state university without paying tuition.

The legal age for purchasing or using tobacco is now 21. It’s illegal for retailers to sell tobacco products to anyone younger than 21. It puts the state law in line with the new federal age, which was raised back in December.

There are now stricter laws on the use of a phone while driving. Drivers can use GPS or map services, but cannot type in their destination while driving. They also cannot use social media. It also changes the law so that officers can pull over drivers for these offenses. 

Driving through a funeral procession is now illegal in the state. Drivers also cannot join the procession in order to have the right of way. Both of those are now Class 2 misdemeanors.

Hunters under the age of 16 can now hunt without a license as long as they are with an unarmed mentor.

Legislation to better protect and help victims of human trafficking in South Dakota takes effect today. HB 1047 takes a multi-pronged approach to protect South Dakota from human trafficking by: Ensuring traffickers are prosecuted for their crimes by amending the criminal code to add the word “purchaser” and prevent a defense of “consent” or “mistake of age.”  It also creates a path to a clean record for minor victims with convictions for crimes they were forced to commit and increasing access to victim resources that includes reimbursement of expenses like hospital stays and mental health counseling.

Sabrina Halvorson

Sabrina is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She travels a lot for the network and enjoys sharing stories and photos from the road - and sometimes the road of life.

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