Las Vegas Criminal Law Blog

DUI Charges in Nevada: What You Need to Know

Driving drunk is illegal no matter which US state you’re in; however, the particulars of the law will differ from one state to another, making it critical to become familiar with local ordinances. If you live in or intend on visiting Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada and plan on drinking, make sure you’re familiar with local legal codes.

How is a DUI Defined in Nevada?

Standing for “driving under the influence,” Nevada DUI laws prohibit motorists from driving and being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle:

  • When under the influence of alcohol or drugs, defined as being impaired to the point where one cannot drive safely.
  • With a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% within two hours of driving, called a “per se DUI.”

Note the phrase, “actual physical control.” You do not necessarily need to be driving the vehicle if you are found in the driver’s seat. Factors such as whether you were found awake, where the car was parked, and whether the engine was running will carry weight in court.

How Serious is a DUI in Nevada?

Normally, a DUI in the State of Nevada is a misdemeanor with fairly standard penalties but can become a class B felony under some circumstances. The severity of the penalty will increase with each successive DUI within a seven-year period. The following is an abbreviated and simplified guide to “standard” Nevada DUI penalties for reference:

Nevada DUI Penalties

Offense Fine Jail time License Suspension
First-time DUI $400-$1,000  2 days – 6 months in jail or 24-96 hours community service 185-day suspension
Second-time DUI $750-$1,000  10 days – 6 months in jail or residential confinement, plus  abuse treatment program 1-year suspension
Third-time DUI $2,000-$5,000   Prison confinement 1-6 years 3-year suspension or revocation


More severe penalties will apply in scenarios where a death or injury occurs as a result of an accident, or if a minor under age 15 is in the vehicle at the time.

How Do Implied Consent Laws Work in Nevada?

According to Nevada’s “implied consent” laws, any driver who is lawfully arrested for a DUI must submit to a urine, breath, or blood test. Refusal can result in a 1-year license revocation for the first offense and 3-year revocation for every subsequent offense.

To get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Clark County or a Las Vegas felony lawyer, call The Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig today.