The city of Las Vegas is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. However, Las Vegas is also a hotbed for DUI charges, with many nightclubs, restaurants, bars, casinos, and other lively nightlife destinations. In fact, in Nevada, for every 100,000 residents, there are around 2,000 DUIs annually. Many of these charges (if not the majority) are given in Las Vegas. As such, Las Vegas ranks as one of the worst cities for drunk driving! So, what happens if you get a DUI in Nevada? That’s what we are going to look into below.
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What to Know About Your First DUI Offense in Nevada
The laws and penalties for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) are stringent in Nevada, and the state has some of the most rigid DUI penalties in the nation. A person’s first DUI offense is usually a misdemeanor in Nevada. However, if that charge also correlates with a vehicle collision, felony charges are possible.
The Meaning of DUI in Nevada
Nevada officially uses the term DUI, which stands for “driving under the influence.” If you are visiting Nevada from out of state, you should know that this term also includes driving while high or impaired by other substances. Some states use the term DWI or DWAI, and DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” and DWAI stands for “driving while ability impaired.” In Nevada, the term DUI encompasses all of these actions.
Nevada Blood Alcohol Limits and DUI Tests
The blood alcohol limit in Nevada is .08 for regular drivers. 0.2% for those under 21 and .04 for commercial vehicle operators. Nevada follows implied consent laws. This means that all drivers who are lawfully arrested for a DUI are required to submit to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine testing. Refusing to take these tests can result in license suspension.
In Nevada, DUIs encompass driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater within two hours of operating a vehicle. Individuals may also be considered “under the Influence” if other substances impair them to the degree that inhibits their ability to drive or otherwise prevents them from safely operating a motor vehicle.
Commercial drivers must adhere to stricter DUI laws than standard drivers in Nevada. There are also specific Nevada DUI laws that apply to drivers under the age of 21. Commercial vehicle drivers can be charged with DUI if they have a blood alcohol content of .04% or more. Underage drivers (people under 21) operating vehicles can be charged with DUI if they have blood alcohol concentrations of .02% or higher.
All About Getting a DUI On the Road in Nevada
Any person who is intoxicated or has consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol before driving is prohibited from being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence. This means that anyone with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 % can not legally operate a vehicle or be in control of one for at least two hours after that blood level was initially recorded.
In DUI cases, judges may consider the following evidence when deciding whether a driver was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle:
- What time of day or night was the driver arrested
- If the vehicle’s engine running
- Whether the driver was awake or asleep
- If the key was in the ignition and where the keys were located
- Whether the headlights of the vehicle were on
- If the vehicle was located on private or public property
- Whether the vehicle was stopped and parked
- If a vehicle is parked illegally
About DUI Arrests in Nevada
In most cases, intoxicated drivers are arrested after being charged with DUI. Although, there may be exceptions to this depending on the circumstances surrounding a DUI driving incident. For example, some officers may allow a sober driver to take the intoxicated person home. Additionally, an individual could be charged with a DUI even if they are no longer in their vehicle. An officer can choose to issue a DUI citation on the scene, after you stop, or even after you have driven somewhere and gone out of your vehicle. It all depends. For this reason, it is imperative never to drive after drinking in the state of Nevada.
The Penalties for DUI in Nevada
The penalties for being convicted of DUI in Nevada can vary, depending on the circumstances and facts of each individual case. Generally, DUI penalties range from misdemeanors to felonies. Whether an individual has been charged with DUI previously, whether they were in an accident while intoxicated, if anyone suffered harm, and other factors will often be considered.
Penalties for DUI (1st Offense) in Nevada:
- 180 days maximum in jail or
- Mandatory 2 days in jail or,
- 48 to 96 hours of community service
- A minimum fine of $400
- A license revocation lasting a minimum of 185 days
- An interlock ignition device (IID) for 185 days if someone’s blood alcohol concentration is less than .18%
After an individual’s first DUI conviction, penalties for second and third offenses are even more severe. These penalties include minimum fines of $2,000, license revocations lasting up to three years, ignition interlock devices being installed for one to three years, and spending one to six years in prison.
Refusing to be Tested or Breathalyzer for DUI and Implied Consent in Nevada
Nevada follows implied consent laws. This means that every driver in the state of Nevada that has been lawfully arrested for suspicion of DUI is legally required to take a test to show their blood alcohol concentration. These tests determine the BAC of breath, urine, or blood. Refusing to take a test of this kind can result in a license suspension ranging from one to three years.
Call Moss Berg to Speak with Nevada Personal Injury DUI Accident Attorneys Now
Were you or a loved one injured after a DUI accident caused by the negligent actions of someone else? If so, it may be wise to speak with a Nevada personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how to proceed legally and will make sure your legal rights are protected. Moreover, a Nevada personal injury attorney can tell you whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If you are looking for a top-rated Nevada personal injury attorney, we encourage you to reach out to the Moss Berg Injury Law team. Here, a skilled team of compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyers can answer your questions and help determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact Moss Berg Injury Law on the phone at 702-222-4555 or learn more online!
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