A DUI arrest in Las Vegas, NV, can be devastating, especially if it’s your first time. You will feel worried and scared about the charges and the life-changing effects of a drunk driving charge conviction. Luckily, if you talk to a DUI attorney, they can help you understand the type of charge you face, the punishment, and how you could avoid a conviction.
Legal Definition of DUI in Nevada
Nevada laws define DUI as operating a motor vehicle:
- With a blood alcohol weight of at least .08% within two hours of being in physical control over the vehicle or .04% or higher for commercial license holders and .02% or more drivers 21 or younger
- Or while drunk or drugged if the individual cannot observe defensive driving.
Looking at this definition, you realize you may be convicted for operating a vehicle with a BAC above the designated limit or being drunk or drugged without considering the BAC levels.
What You Need to Know If You Obtain a DUI in Nevada
Nevada has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the nation outlined under NRS 484C.110. Many factors play a role in whether you will be convicted or the kind of punishment you will face. As seen in the above definition of the offense, your blood alcohol, weight, and age will be considered in determining the penalties. Also, whether the drunk or drugged driving caused injuries on another person or have a previous DUI conviction are other factors the court will consider during sentencing.
By looking at the characteristics of your case, an experienced DUI attorney can tell the kind of penalties you will face, possible defenses, and other legal options you could explore for a favorable outcome in the case.
When it comes to proving that you committed a DUI offense, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You produced an odor, moved, or acted as an individual under the influence
- Your driving patterns were not like those of a sober person
- You performed poorly in field sobriety tests
- You failed your blood or breath test
You are easy to find guilty if the prosecutor proves these elements beyond reasonable certainty. However, if you work closely with a drunk driving attorney, they could disapprove of these elements and prevent a conviction.
Never lose hope in these cases and assume that because your BAC exceeds the designated limit of .08%, you will automatically be convicted. This is far from the truth because you can explore many defense options like questioning the accuracy of the BAC test results or the facts surrounding your arrest.
Nevada DUI Penalties
The penalties you face after a DUI conviction depend on the type of DUI offense in question. Discussed below are the consequences for various drunk driving offenses in Las Vegas, NV:
According to NRS 484C.400, if you are found operating an automobile while intoxicated or with a minimum BAC of .08% or greater within seven years, you risk misdemeanor charges if no one sustains injuries. This type of charge doesn’t attract jail time but only if you meet the conditions set by the court. The penalties for a first DUI conviction are:
- Two days to six months in jail or two to eight days of community labor — Mostly, the court imposes a suspended sentence for half a year where you comply with the requirements below;
- Completion of DUI school from your pockets
- Courts fines of between $400 and $1,000 — In Las Vegas, most courts impose fines of between six hundred and eighty-five ($685) to eight hundred and ten ($810) dollars.
- Mandatory lessons on the dangers of drunk driving
- Drug or alcohol addiction evaluation at $100 if you are under 21
- Narcotic or alcohol treatment program if your blood alcohol weight was at least .18%
- Install a breath interlock device for no more than three years if the weight of alcohol in your blood was .18% or above
- Driving privileges revocation for one hundred and eighty-five days
As mentioned above, you could easily avoid jail time if you are a first-time offender by completing the rehabilitation program imposed by the court.
As codified under NRS 484C.400, it is a misdemeanor to face a drunk driving charge for the second time within seven years in Las Vegas. Unlike first-DUI, a second drunk driving offense involves serving mandatory jail incarceration upon conviction because of your previous offense. The consequences for a conviction are:
- Residential incarceration or jail term ranging from ten days to six months
- Monetary court fines of between seven hundred and fifty to one thousand dollars or an equal number of community labor hours
- Attending victim impact
- Alcohol or narcotics dependency examination at a fee of one hundred dollars
- Alcohol or drug addiction treatment program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)for one hundred and eighty-five days
- An IID in your vehicle for three years acts as a license reinstatement condition if your BAC was .018% or more at the time of arrest.
- Suspension of your driver’s license for at most twelve months
Obtaining a 3rd DUI within seven years in a Class B felony. When convicted for the offense, you will face:
- Twelve to seventy-two months in prison incarceration
- Court fines of between two thousand to five thousand dollars
- Attending victim impact panel
- Installation of an IID in your vehicle for a duration ranging from twelve to thirty-six months
- Drug or alcohol dependency evaluation
- Revocation or suspension of driving privileges for three years
Note that there is a felony DUI court program if you would like to avoid state imprisonment. Instead of serving a prison sentence, you complete the rehabilitation program. Unfortunately, some people are ineligible for the program, so you might want to hire an attorney to guide you through this process.
DUI Causing Injury or Death Penalties
NRS 484C.430 classifies DUI with injury as a class B felony. Unlike, first, second, and third DUI offense, DUI causing injury is not a priorable offense, so having a clean record doesn’t make any difference. Upon conviction, you will face:
- Two to twenty years prison incarceration
- Installation of a breath interlock device for one to three years
- 36 months license suspension
Find DUI Bail Bond Services Near Me
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas, you can secure a release on a bond to continue with your normal activities and prepare adequately for the case. At Express Bail Bonds, we are eager to discuss your case and begin releasing you from jail. Call us today at 702-633-2245 for a free consultation.