Nevada DUI: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs in Las Vegas
Nevada laws on Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or a Prohibited Substance — referred to as DUI or DUID — are very strict. Even a first conviction can significantly impact your life in many ways. Retaining skilled legal counsel often helps minimize that impact. At The Gersten Law Firm, we know the Las Vegas court system and process. Our extensive experience in DUI and DUID cases enables us to aggressively represent anyone facing DUI charges in Las Vegas.
The Basics of Las Vegas DUI / DUID Laws
Nevada laws applying to DUI and DUID arrests are complex. Even a first offense carries potential severe consequences. The penalties escalate substantially for second and subsequent offenses.
Unlawful Alcohol or Drug Levels
You are considered to be under the influence for purposes of the DUI law if:
- You are under the age of twenty-one (21), and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is two hundredths of a percent (0.02 percent) or higher (Nevada has a zero tolerance policy for underage DUI);
- You are over the age of twenty-one (21), and your BAC is eight hundredths of a percent (0.08 percent) or higher;
- You are driving a commercial vehicle, and your BAC is four hundredths of a percent (0.04 percent) or higher;
- You are determined by a police officer to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (drug), regardless of whether the drugs are legal or illegal and regardless of whether you have a legal prescription for them.
Penalties for Nevada DUI / DUID
Generally, a DUI conviction is a misdemeanor. However, penalties increase substantially with subsequent convictions within seven (7) years, or if the DUI caused death or substantial injury to another person. The penalties for a first offense can include:
- Serving two (2) days to six (6) months in prison or twenty-four (24) to ninety-six (96) hours of community service;
- Attending Nevada DUI school at your own expense;
- Paying a fine of between four hundred dollars ($400) and a thousand dollars ($1,000) plus court costs;
- If you are under twenty-one (21) years old or if your BAC was greater than eighteen hundredths percent (0.18 percent), having an alcohol or drug dependency evaluation;
- If your BAC was greater than eighteen hundredths percent (0.18 percent), completing an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program;
- If your BAC was greater than eighteen hundredths percent (0.18 percent), having a Nevada Breath Interlock Device in your car for twelve (12) to thirty-six (36) months;
- If your BAC was less than eighteen hundredths percent (0.18 percent), having an interlock device for three (3) to six (6) months;
- Having your driver’s license suspended for ninety (90) days and paying a civil penalty fee.
For second and subsequent offenses within seven (7) years, the penalties increase significantly and include:
- Longer potential prison sentence term
- Higher amount of the fine
- Longer community service term
- Longer period of driver’s license suspension, which can include revocation of your license
- More additional consequences, such as an interlock device and alcohol or drug evaluation and treatment
In addition, for any offense after the first conviction, the registration of all motor vehicles you own will be suspended for five (5) days in the absence of a showing that justifies an exception under the statute.
Aggravating circumstances — like causing death or substantial injury, past criminal or DUI convictions, other charges associated with the arrest, or having a person under fifteen (15) years old in your car — can result in more severe penalties for your first or subsequent offense.
What To Do If You’re Stopped on Suspicion of DUI or DUID
If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI or DUID, the best approach is to cooperate with the police officer. Under Nevada law, when you drive a vehicle, you consent to an evidentiary test by a police officer of your blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance to determine the concentration of alcohol or a controlled substance in your blood or breath. If you refuse, you can be arrested immediately and taken to a facility to have the alcohol or drug test administered. Your driver’s license can be seized and suspended as a result of the refusal.
If you are issued a citation, even if it is your first DUI charge, consulting with legal counsel is in your best interest. Beyond the legal penalties of a DUI conviction, there are potential consequences on your life. You will have a misdemeanor criminal conviction on your record. Negative consequences can include:
- Loss of your job, if not having a license prevents you from getting to or carrying out your work;
- Impairment of future job opportunities;
- Limitations on your housing opportunities
- Negative impacts on college admission applications, including scholarship and financial aid program eligibility.
If you have more than one DUI conviction, the negative impacts on your life will be even more significant than they are with a single conviction.
A Las Vegas DUI Defense Lawyer Can Make a Difference
In addition to examining all the facts and circumstances to determine whether the charge itself can be challenged, Las Vegas DUI defense attorney Joseph Gersten will aggressively represent you. He will exhaust every opportunity to get the charge dismissed, plea bargain it to a lesser offense, and minimize the penalties you face, all of which can help lessen the impact on your record and your life.
Attorney Gersten is a seasoned, trusted criminal defense attorney. He is also a highly-trained investigator and a keen analyst of both law and facts. With The Gersten Law Firm on your side, you will benefit from Attorney Gersten’s unique background and extensive experience.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing DUI or DUID charge in Las Vegas, Henderson, or elsewhere in Clark County, Las Vegas attorney Joseph Gersten will discuss and evaluate your case based on his extensive criminal defense, investigative, and analytical experience. Your initial consultation is free-of-charge. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.