Throughout the United States, it is a very serious offense to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications that impair your ability to drive safely (DUI). This is a crime that comes with harsh penalties in Nevada.
The illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Nevada is:
Each state has limits for illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In Nevada, these limits are .02% for drivers who under the age of 21, .04% for commercial license holders, and .08% for everyone else. However, the BAC does not apply to any substance except alcohol. You can receive the same penalties or worse for any detectable illegal substances in your blood (like marijuana or cocaine).
What many people don’t realize is that the BAC limits are basically a guide rather than a hard rule. It is entirely possible to get arrested or cited for a blood alcohol concentration of less than the legal limit as long as the alcohol is detectable. At the same time, driving with a BAC above the legal limit is an automatic offense as per the Illegal Per Se Law.
There is also the Implied Consent Law which is that you imply consent to be tested if you choose to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You can be immediately arrested for resisting or reasonable force can be used if you refuse.
It is also illegal to drive with any open alcoholic beverages in the vehicle as per the Open Container Law. There are exceptions in the case of living areas in motor homes/RVs and passenger areas of limos, buses, taxis, etc.
If you have any special circumstances that make the case worse, like if you had a passenger under the age of 15 in your vehicle, then aggravating circumstance penalties may also apply.
Refusing a Chemical Test Penalties
Do not think that refusing a chemical test will keep you from any penalties. The first time you refuse a chemical test you will have your driver’s license suspended for a minimum of 1 year.
Many people mistakenly think that they can simply refuse a chemical test and face no consequences. The first time that you do this, you will have your driver’s license suspended for at least one year.
The DMV will suspend your license if you are charged with a DUI. You can contact the Office of Administrative Hearings to request a hearing to appeal an administrative revocation. For a first offense DUI, the administrative penalties include:
- License revoked for 90 days.
- $35 Victims Compensation Civil Penalty.
- Installation and Monitoring of Ignition Interlock Device.
- $42.25 Driver’s License Fee.
- $26 Testing Fee.
- $121 Reinstatement Fee.
- SR-22 Certificate of Liability Insurance Required for Three Years.
The penalties grow worse when you have more offenses on your record. In some cases, you can get your license back, though restricted, after serving part of your revocation time. You have to wait at least 45 days to attempt this for a first offense and at least one year for a third offense. For a second offense, you cannot get a restricted license until you have completed the suspension time.
Whenever a person are convicted of driving under the influence, he or she has to pay for any chemical tests that were conducted at the time of arrest ($60). The criminal penalties are as follows:
- 2 to 6 days of jail or 96 hours of community service.
- $400 to $1,000 Fine.
- Mandatory DUI School attendance.
- Possible order for a substance-abuse treatment.
- Revoked drivers license for 90 days.
Second DUI in 7 years
- 10 days to 6 months of jail or house arrest.
- $750 to $1,000 Fine.
- Mandatory community service for 100 to 200 hours.
- Possible suspension of registration.
- Possible order for up to one year of substance-abuse treatment or clinical supervision.
- Revoked drivers license for 1 year.
Third (or more) DUI in 7 years
- 1 to 6 year prison sentence.
- $2,000 to $5,000 Fine.
- Possible suspension of registration.
- Revoked rivers license for 3 years.
For anyone under the age of 21, the DUI criminal penalties are the same, but are also likely to include an alcohol and drug abuse evaluation which may lead to court ordered treatment.
DUI Resulting in Death / Serious Injury
Even if it is your first offense, the following can occur for a DUI resulting in death or serious injury:
- Revoked drivers license for 3 years.
- 2 to 20 years in prison.
- $2,000 to $5,000 Fine.
You can expect to spend time at the police station and time in court if you are arrested for a DUI. You will have the option of seeking the advice of a lawyer regarding whether you plead guilty or fight the charge, and you will be more likely to succeed in your case with an attorney.
Reinstating Your Driver’s License
If you have had your driver’s license restricted, then you can get it reinstated once the timeframes of the suspensions of the criminal and administrative penalties have elapsed. You can do this by going to the DMV, paying all of your fines and fees, and then retaking the vision, written, and skills tests. When you do this, you’ll also have to fill out Form DMV-21, the Application for Restricted License, and they may require you to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed first.
Protecting Yourself from Other Impaired Drivers
It’s important to pay attention to the traffic around you and notice when someone is driving as if they are impaired. You can tell by erratic driving, swerving, and other indications that the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Consider the following signs of impaired driving:
- Straddling center line
- Swerving between lanes
- Drifting from lane to lane
- Drifting off road
- Ignoring turn lanes
- Turning very widely
- Having near collisions
- Excessively fast or slow driving
- Suddenly changing speed
- Forgetting headlights at night
- Suddenly stopping without cause
- Erratically applying brakes
- Responding to signals and lights too slowly
- Driving into oncoming traffic
If you notice these vehicles, you can take better precautions and do your best to completely avoid them.
DUI Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas
Fighting for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
Most people are well aware of how serious a drunk driving charge is. There are very harsh penalties and consequences for DUI accidents. Having said that, those consequences may not allow for fair compensation for the victims of these accidents. Even as national, state, and local agencies crack down on drunk drivers, the rate of DUIs in Nevada is among the highest in the United States with an average of 100 deaths every year caused by drunk driving.
- Drunk driving accidents cause about 10,000 deaths per year.
- Almost 1/3 of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents are related to drunk driving.
- In 2012, there were 76 drunk driving arrests for underage drivers in Nevada.
- Over 10,000 drivers per year are arrested for DUIs in Nevada.
Whenever a drunk driving accident causes injuries and/or death, the victims have a right to compensation from the at-fault driver. To learn more about your options and your legal rights when you’ve been in a drunk driving car accident, contact an attorney for a free consultation and ask about their contingency rate. Most car accident lawyers in Nevada work on this contingency fee plan, which means that you don’t pay unless you win your case.
What Are Your Rights After a Drunk Driving Accident?
When you’ve been in a drunk driving accident, you have a right to seek financial compensation for your damages. Some of the financial (economic) damages that you can recover include:
- Past/Present/Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages and Lost Future Earning Potential
- Property Damage and Repair Expenses
- Funeral Costs for Wrongful Death
There are also noneconomic damages that you can recover, which are damages that cannot be calculated financially in the way that specific economic damages are. Pain and suffering is an example of a noneconomic damage, as are the losses associated with wrongful death (lost consortium, lost companionship, emotional and psychological suffering, etc).
Aggressive Las Vegas Representation for DUI Cases
When you want to ensure that your personal injury claim and/or lawsuit is successful, you need to find the right legal representation. You will find this in DUI accident attorneys who are aggressive and knowledgeable about the laws and rights that apply to your case. You should be able to focus on your own recovery and healing with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your legal case is being handled by a professional attorney with experience in DUI cases.