In Nevada, if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police have the legal obligation to place you under arrest. DUI arrests usually occur at sobriety checkpoints following a traffic stop or after an accident. Sometimes you may even be pulled over just for driving suspiciously, which can lead to an arrest if your BAC reading is 0.08% or more.
The state, further, has an implied consent law, which provides that all applicants of a driver’s license give consent to tests to determine impairment. A motorist in Las Vegas can thus not say no to a BAC test, and law enforcers are allowed to use force to get the test information where necessary.
A defendant may face two cases if he or she is arrested for drunk driving: 1) A DMV case to determine if their driving license should be suspended, and 2) a criminal hearing for driving under the influence. The driver is expected to request the DMV case, and if they fail to do so, they risk losing their right to drive in Las Vegas. Below is a rundown of DUI laws in Nevada and the penalties they carry:
A misdemeanor DUI is classified as a motorist’s first, second, or third alcohol-related driving offense that is not committed within seven years of the prior offense. Depending on the circumstances of a case, penalties may include the following:
- A 90-day license suspension;
- 96 hours of community service;
- A jail term of up to six months;
- $400-$1,000 fine;
- Vehicle confiscation; and
- Drug and alcohol education.
A DUI is a considered a felony offense either when it results in an accident which causes significant bodily harm or death or when it is it is the fourth DUI offense, as mentioned above. The injury or death victim for a DUI to be considered a felony can be a passenger in the defendant’s car, a pedestrian, the or the driver/passenger of another vehicle. Once you have been convicted of a felony DUI, all subsequent DUI charges against you will be felonies.
First DUI offense
A first time DUI offense in Las Vegas carries more lenient penalties than subsequent crimes. The penalties can, however, vary depending on the circumstances surrounding a case. The presence of open alcohol containers in the vehicle or extremely high BAC levels are examples of when your penalties may be increased.
Third or subsequent offenses within seven years of the second offense can lead to a 3-year license suspension, a prison term of 1-6 years, a $2,000-$5,000 fine, vehicle impoundment or confiscation, and possible treatment and alcohol education.
DUI defendants under 21 years of age are bound by a zero tolerance law which illegalizes driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher.
Commercial Driver DUI
The minimum BAC for commercial drivers is lower than that of regular drivers. A commercial driver arrested driving with a 0.01% BAC can be banned from driving for a minimum of 24 hours. A BAC of over 0.04% is regarded as legally impaired. Commercial vehicle drivers are generally advised not to drive with any detectable BAC as it will affect their driving privileges in Nevada.
Operating a car while under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs can also lead to a DUI arrest. A driver taking illegal or prescription drugs is still considered impaired while under the influence of a drugs, which can also lead to a conviction in the event of an accident.