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Nevada DUI Laws

In Nevada if you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and your driving is impaired or unsafe you can be arrested. This does not require a specific blood alcohol content, however, the state does have a per se law which makes it illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, even if your driving is not erratic or dangerous and you appear to be driving safely. If either of these situations are applicable you can be arrested for a DUI in Nevada.

Further, Nevada has implemented an implied consent law. This means that any motorist who has applied for a driver’s license gives consent to chemical tests by a police officer to determine impairment. Thus, a motorist cannot refuse a chemical BAC test, and if he/she does, the police can use force to obtain the test information.

If arrested for a DUI, defendant faces two cases: the court case in which criminal and or civil proceedings occur and where most of the penalties are accumulated as well as a DMV case which determines the suspension time of the defendant’s drivers license. The defendant must request the DMV case and failure to do so could lead to an automatic loss of his/her right to drive in the state.

Felony DUI- Felony DUI is a more serious offense in which an accident results in death or substantial bodily harm to another person, whether it be a passenger in the driver’s car or someone else not in the driver’s car(even if a first time offender) or a third DUI within seven years. Once a person has been convicted of a felony DUI, all subsequent DUI arrests will also be felonies. Due to the severe consequences that can accompany a felony DUI charge, a felony DUI case is entitled to a jury trial.

Misdemeanor DUI-A misdemeanor DUI is an individuals first, second or third DUI offense (if not within 7 years). The penalties for a misdemeanor DUI is less severe than a felony DUI. Factors that can influence the severity of the penalty are prior offenses, an excessively high BAC etc.

First DUI offense- A first time offense for drunk driving in Nevada is a misdemeanor and carries fewer penalties than multiple DUI’s. However, the penalties can increase if there are additional circumstances such as an extremely high BAC or open alcohol containers inside the vehicle. Also, a first time offense that results in serious injuries or fatalities is automatically a felony with a prison term as well as other fines and penalties.

Multiple DUI offenses- Individuals with prior DUI convictions will likely face stiffer penalties.

Juvenile DUI- Nevada has a “zero tolerance” law which affects individuals under twenty-one driving under the influence. If an individual under the age of twenty-one has a blood alcohol level of 0.02% or over, he/she is subject to DUI penalties.

Commercial Driver DUI- the blood alcohol level for a DUI is less for an individual operating a vehicle with a commercial license than it is for individuals with regular driver’s licenses. A BAC of 0.01% can prohibit a commercial driver from driving for twenty-four hours. A BAC of 0.04% is considered legally impaired. However, commercial vehicle drivers should not drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in Nevada as it can affect his driving privileges. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governs rules for disqualification of a commercial drivers license.

DUI arrest with prescription drugs- Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs can also lead to a DUI arrest.  A driver impaired using prescription or illegal drugs can be arrested as an individual driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages.

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