Nevada DUI Law
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Nevada DUI video transcription
DUI arrests in Nevada trigger the new implied consent law. All Nevada drivers have impliedly consented to a test of their blood or breath for alcohol content simply by obtaining a Nevada driver's license or by driving on Nevada's roads. There is no more right in Nevada to refuse to provide a breath or blood sample if arrested for DUI. This means that the police may use force to draw your blood, if necessary, and to obtain evidence to use against you and in a Nevada drunk driving case. It’s important if you been arrested in Nevada to contact an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
Nevada DUI arrests trigger two separate cases: the court case, and the DMV case, where the person's driving privileges are at stake. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles recently published a bulletin relating to DUI cases (.PDF file). Most importantly, if you have been arrested for DUI in Nevada, you must request a DMV hearing (.PDF file) immediately, or lose your right to have one. Nevada DMV Hearings are conducted through the DMV's Office of Administrative Hearings. They can provide more information about your obligations under Nevada drunk driving laws.
Drunk driving defense is a specialized area. Let one of the qualified DUI LAWS attorneys find a solution to your legal problem if you, or someone you care about, has been arrested for DUI or DWI. Contact a Nevada DUI LAWS lawyer near you for a free consultation by calling 1.800.DUI.LAWS.
In Nevada "Driving Under The Influence" means operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that renders one unable to safely drive a vehicle. It is not necessary for one to be drunk to be arrested for or convicted of DUI in Nevada. Nevada DUI convictions can be obtained where a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, OR operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAL) or breath alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater.
Nevada DUI cases can be brought against a person who may appear normal, but who is above the legal limit of .08% BAC. This is called Nevada's "Per Se" law, meaning that it is illegal to be above a .08 no matter what the person's impairment level actually is.
DUI arrests in Nevada also trigger the new implied consent law. All Nevada drivers have impliedly consented to a test of their blood or breath for alcohol content simply by obtaining a Nevada driver's license or by driving on Nevada's roads. There is no more right in Nevada to refuse to provide a breath or blood sample if arrested for DUI. This means that the police may use force to draw blood, if necessary, to obtain evidence to use against someone in a Nevada drunk driving case.
The goal of our Nevada DUI lawyers in representing a DUI client is to obtain a dismissal of the charges, an acquittal in trial, or a non-DUI disposition. While this is not always possible, the only chance for success in a Nevada drunk driving case is to have a skilled drunk driving defense attorney. It is extremely important that you be familiar with the issues involved in a typical DUI case so that you may aid and participate in your defense and make informed choices regarding your case. It is also vitally important that you tell your DUI defense lawyer all of the facts, so that he or she is able to best help defend the drunk driving case.
There are three ways for a prosecutor to prove a Nevada DUI case. Keep in mind that unless each element of the case is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant in a DUI case is entitled to a verdict of "not guilty." A Nevada driving under the influence case can be prosecuted under any of the following theories:
By proving that the defendant was a less safe driver due to impairment by alcohol and/or drugs by using the officer's observations, including the manner of driving, field sobriety test, the way the driver appeared physically, and the chemical test (or refusal to take a chemical test, which is considered "consciousness of guilt" in a DUI case).
By proving the defendant was driving the vehicle at a time when his blood alcohol level (BAL) was .08% or greater. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the test you were given was a valid test and administered properly, and that you were driving within TWO (2) hours of the chemical (breath or blood) test. This is called Nevada's Per Se law; it doesn't matter how well someone is driving. Violating this law is purely a function of body chemistry.
The state of Nevada has a "Per Se" level of prohibited substances: amphetamine, cocaine or bezoylecognine (cocaine metabolite), heroin or morphine or 6-monoacetyl morphine (heroin metabolite), LSD, marijuana or marijuana metabolite, methamphetamine, and phenycyclidine. If you have a certain level of any of these substances in your blood while driving you will be presumed to have violated the Driving Under the Influence statute. This presumption may be rebutted by a prescription.
Note: In the state of Nevada there is no longer any right to refuse to submit to a chemical test. If you do not consent to a breath or a blood test the officer may force you to give a blood sample, pursuant to Nevada law.
Penalties for DUI in Nevada
The penalties for driving under the influence depend on whether one has had a DUI conviction within the past SEVEN (7) years. The 7-year "washout" period is calculated from the prior DUI arrest date to the current DUI arrest date.
CONVICTION: A person that pleads no contest, pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial is subject to the following judicial penalties:
DUI FIRST OFFENSE:
JAIL: 48 hours up to a maximum of six (6) months imprisonment, or, at least ninety-six (96) hours of community service. The court may allow you to do community service in lieu of the mandatory jail time.
FINES AND ASSESSMENTS: A minimum of $340.00 to a maximum of $1,175.00 (DUI fines and assessments).
SUSPENSION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES: A criminal conviction for a 1st offense DUI results in a 90-day suspension of driving privileges. It is possible to obtain a restricted license that allows driving to, from, and in the course of employment after 45 days have passed.
OTHER PENALTIES: The Court will always impose the requirement that you attend an 8-hour course of DUI school, a DUI assessment program with a $100.00 fee if the blood alcohol is .18% or more, and a Victim Impact Panel with a $40.00 fee. The court may also order a Breath Interlock Device be attached to your vehicle (at your expense) for three to six months.
DUI SECOND OFFENSE:
JAIL: Minimum of TEN (10) days up to SIX (6) months.
FINES AND ASSESSMENTS: Fines and assessments of SIX HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($675.00) to ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($1,175.00).
LOSS OF LICENSE: ONE (1) year
OTHER PENALTIES: The court may order ONE HUNDRED (100) to TWO HUNDRED (200) hours community service, DUI assessment program, treatment program, Breath Interlock Device from SIX (6) to TWELVE (12) months, Victim Impact Panel, and a THIRTY-FIVE DOLLAR ($35.00) civil penalty to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
DUI THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE:
Conviction of three or more DUI's within SEVEN (7) years of the date of the first DUI arrest is a FELONY.
JAIL: A minimum of ONE (1) year to SIX (6) years in a Nevada State Prison.
FINES AND ASSESSMENTS: TWO THOUSAND EIGHTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($2,085.00) to FIVE THOUSAND EIGHTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($5,085.00).
LOSS OF LICENSE: THREE (3) years
OTHER PENALTIES: Breath interlock device from TWELVE (12) to THIRTY-SIX (36) months from release from prison, Victim Impact Panel, THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($35.00) civil penalties to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
DRUG OFFENSES IN DUI CASES: While a DUI offense involving drugs may be prosecuted by the State as a misdemeanor, beyond the misdemeanor DUI/ Drugs penalties set forth above, Nevada law specifies that possessing ANY amount of a controlled substance, for instance marijuana or cocaine, is a felony.
DRIVING WHILE YOUR LICENSE IS SUSPENDED: If your license is suspended or revoked due to a DUI, either through the criminal courts or an administrative proceeding, and you are caught driving while your license is suspended, the minimum penalty is THIRTY (30) days in jail. You also could be ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and lose your driver's license for an additional year, without the opportunity to have a restricted license for driving to and from work.
DUI ACCIDENT THAT RESULTS IN DEATH OR SUBSTANTIAL BODILY HARM: If you are convicted of a DUI offense in which an accident occurred that resulted in the death or substantial bodily harm of another person, it is a FELONY conviction, even if it is your first DUI. The penalty is a minimum of TWO (2) years and a maximum of TWENTY (20) years in prison and a fine of not less than TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,000) nor more than FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($5,000).