What are Nevada’s DUI laws and penalties?

Nevada laws governing DUI arrests and convictions are very harsh. Understanding these is important for all drivers in Las Vegas.

With the prolific gambling industry in Las Vegas, it makes sense for area law enforcement to focus heavily on drunk driving. However, that does not mean that every person arrested for impaired driving offenses is actually guilty. Defendants have rights and should remember that they are always allowed the chance to prove their innocence in these cases, despite the state’s very strict
DUI laws.

What are some of the basic DUI laws in Nevada?

Every driver should have a basic understanding of the laws concerning drunk or drugged driving. These include the implied consent law which, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, stipulates that by simply operating motor vehicles drivers consent to chemical testing by officers. Drivers that do refuse testing can be arrested. Additionally, law enforcement is allowed to forcefully obtain blood samples with a properly executed warrant.

While the blood alcohol level that determines intoxication for most non-commercial drivers is 0.08 percent, arrests can be made for people with lower BACs under the illegal per se law. The Advisory Council for Prosecuting Attorneys describes the Zero Tolerance law which puts the threshold for impaired driving at 0.02 percent for drivers
under the age of 21. Violation of this law can result in a 90 day license suspension.

Potential changes to the laws

One local ABC affiliate in Nevada reported on a new effort underway in the state legislature to revise the DUI laws. If approved, drivers who refuse testing upon law enforcement request can have their driving privileges revoked.

This effort is consistent with an overall increase in the vigilance against drunk driving statewide. Another ABC affiliate, kolotv.com, provided information about the Joined Forces Impaired Driving campaign. This program will involve multiple agencies and focus on ways to crack down on drunk driving in Nevada.

What are some of the penalties for DUI convictions in Nevada?

A first DUI conviction can result in the following penalties:

  • Up to six months in jail or community service.
  • Revocation of driving privileges for 90 days.
  • Impoundment of vehicle.
  • Fines up to $1,000.
  • Assessment of other fees for chemical testing, license reinstatement, the state’s Victims Compensation Civil Penalty and more.

DUI arrests remain on a driver’s record for life. Convictions can remain for up to 7 years. People convicted of three impaired driving offenses within seven years will face felony charges. Additionally, if a person is convicted of felony DUI, any subsequent drunk driving-related arrest is considered a felony with escalating penalties.

What should arrested drivers do?

Being arrested for anything can be scary. Anyone who faces drunk driving charges in Nevada should contact a defense attorney promptly.

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