DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
As a driver, you have probably heard this countless times.
But even so, you should always, always obey it.
Well, did you know that driving under the influence can lead up to 30 times the risk of crashing than if you were sober?
Besides that, being convicted of a DUI will ensure harsh penalties.
This is what we’re going to talk about here.
We’ll go over all the Nevada DUI laws, then we’ll move on to penalties, how to spot a drunk driver, and some FAQs.
So let’s dive right in!
DUI Laws in Nevada
There are several DUI-related laws in Nevada. These are:
- Illegal BAC levels
- Implied Consent
- Drugs and driving
- Open Container
- Minor Passenger
Let’s go over them one by one.
Illegal BAC Levels
How does the state determine “drunk driving”?
Well, it will depend on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level. In simpler terms, it will depend on how much alcohol is in your system.
In Nevada, you are drunk driving if your BAC level reaches:
- 0.08% or more for non-commercial drivers
- 0.04% or more for commercial drivers
- 0.02% or more for non-commercial drivers under 21 years old
However, even if you are found to have less than these BAC levels, you can still be penalized or arrested if you show signs of impaired driving, as well as collide with someone and cause injury or death.
Implied Consent Law
Under the Implied Consent Law, anyone with a Nevada driver’s license is required to consent to a blood, urine, or breath test to check their BAC levels.
So if a law enforcement officer suspects you of DUI, they will pull you over and do the test on you — and you have to submit to it.
If you refuse to take any of these tests, your permit or license will be suspended or revoked for a year. Yes, even if you were not really drunk driving.
Drugs and Driving
Driving under the influence can also mean drugs. And when we say “drugs”, this includes legal or illegal ones, as well as prescribed or over-the-counter ones.
Unlike alcohol, there is no specific illegal drug level. If you show signs of impaired driving and have drugs in your system, you will likely be charged with DUI.
That said, when it comes to marijuana metabolites, you cannot have more than 2 nanograms per milliliter of blood. If you do, then you will receive a DUI conviction.
Open Container Law
The Open Container Law was placed to prevent drunk driving.
This law states that…
“It’s illegal to have open alcoholic beverages in a moving vehicle if it is placed within reach of the driver or passengers.”
The exception to this is if the vehicle is being used as living quarters, such as a motor home or house trailer. Another exception is if the vehicle being driven is a commercial bus, taxi, or limousine.
Minor Passenger Law
If you are convicted of a DUI and you had a passenger below 16 years old, then the penalties will be more severe. The court will often add this as an aggravating factor in determining your sentence.
DUI Penalties in Nevada
As we mentioned, the DUI penalties in Nevada are very harsh.
Now, these penalties can be categorized into 2:
Administrative DUI Penalties
Administrative penalties are actions taken against a driver by the Nevada DMV. This is separate from the penalties given by the court.
These are the administrative penalties that you will face if convicted of DUI:
- License suspension for 185 days
- May be required to file an SR-22 Insurance*
*SR-22 is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility filed by your insurance company to the DMV.
Criminal DUI Penalties
Criminal penalties are actions taken by the court after evaluating your case.
See the table below for all possible penalties per offense:
|Offense||License Suspension||Jail Time||Fine||Program/Treatment|
|First||At least 185 days||2 days – 6 months |
48 – 96 hours of community service
|$400 – $1,000||DUI school or treatment program for 0.08% or more BAC level|
|Second||1 year||10 days – 6 months||$750 – $1,000||Treatment program or clinical supervision up to 1 year|
|Subsequent (within 7 years)||3 years||1 – 6 years||$2,000 – $5,000||Treatment program or clinical supervision up to 3 years|
|DUI causing death or serious injury||3 years||2 – 20 years||$2,000 – $5,000||N/A|
On top of these penalties, those who have committed a second or subsequent DUI offense face the risk of getting their vehicle registration suspended.
The court may also give more severe penalties for commercial drivers, such as lifetime disqualification to get a CDL.
How to Spot A Drunk Driver
Want to know how you can spot a drunk driver? Or how a police officer determines drunk driving?
Here are the signs:
- Occupying two lanes
- Narrowly hitting someone or another vehicle
- Abruptly steering all the time
- Sudden changes in speed
- Headlights are turned off when driving at night
- Turns are too wide
- Driving too slowly or too fast, not following the speed limits
- Following the vehicle ahead too closely
- Sudden brakes even when there is no reason to do so
If you spot these, make sure to report them to a law enforcement officer. You could just save a life.
Frequently Asked Questions
And finally, let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI in Nevada.
Is the DUI law in Nevada strict?
Yes, Nevada is one of the states that are very strict with its DUI laws. Just look at how harsh the penalties are for a first offense.
Is DUI a felony in Nevada?
A DUI is typically treated as a misdemeanor. However, it becomes a felony if it causes bodily injury or death of a person.
Is your license suspended immediately after a DUI in Nevada?
Yes. On your first offense, one of the administrative and criminal penalties you’ll face is a license suspension of at least 185 days.
How long does a DUI stay on your record in Nevada?
For a first and second offense, your DUI conviction will stay on your record for 7 years.
However, for third and subsequent offenses, or if you cause injuries or death, your DUI will stay on your record forever. It will NOT be removed.
How much is bail for a DUI in Nevada?
Bail for the first and second DUI offenses is usually less than $5,000. However, if it’s the third offense or you have caused bodily harm to others, the bail amount goes over $10,000.
Can a DUI be dismissed in Nevada?
DUI cases can be dismissed, but this is very difficult to do. You have to be able to prove that there is insufficient evidence to prove you were driving under the influence.
How many points is a DUI in Nevada?
No points are tied to DUI since your license is automatically suspended and these violations will be put on your driver’s record.
How long does a DUI affect your insurance in Nevada?
A DUI conviction can affect your insurance for up to 10 years. With that, insurance premiums can go up as high as 50%.
And that was all you needed to know about Nevada DUI laws.
If you don’t want to face the harsh penalties, then DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.
More than that, obeying all the DUI laws will ensure safety for everyone.
So be a responsible driver!