Driver's License Suspension Due To DUI in Nevada
In Nevada, your driver’s license could be suspended because of a variety reasons – one of which is driving under the influence or DUI. This is a case wherein people hit the road while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. However, what many do not know is that it has many underlying layers, like the fact that your license could also be suspended even though you are not the one intoxicated.
Contact a DUI attorney in Las Vegas to help you learn more about DUI cases and the risks of losing your license in case you are or someone you know is experiencing it. Here are some facts you also need to know:
What happens if you are caught for DUI
Like most states, Nevada enforces DUI as an offense. This means that you will likely be pulled up by a police officer once you are suspected of driving under the influence due to erratic driving behavior. Usually when this happens, you will undergo a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test through a breath analyzer. Two other options are blood and urine tests, which could be performed if extremely needed.
The blood alcohol concentration limit in Nevada is 0.08% for the general public, 0.02% for drivers under 21 years old, and 0.04% for commercial drivers.
Nevada has a large number of bars and restaurants which offer alcoholic drinks, particularly in Las Vegas, causing a great deal of DUI cases in the area. In 2015, there was a recorded number of 97 deaths due to drunk driving. While the statistics have been decreasing since then, it is no reason to be relaxed because there are still outlets in Nevada which offer free access to alcohol any time of the day.
Moreover, drug intoxication is measured through urine or blood sample but the results are not released immediately. That is why there are police officers trained in drug recognition evaluation (DRE) to determine if a person is under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol. When someone passes the breath test but fails the sobriety test, then the driver is most likely drug-intoxicated.
Factors that lead to license suspension
There are different reasons why someone could be charged for DUI and be sanctioned of eventual driver license suspension.
These are the laws that constitute driving under the influence:
Illegal per se law
Driving with a higher BAC level than the one implemented by the state is inherently illegal as you are endangering lives and resources on the road. If caught, you will be charged with misdemeanor.
Implied consent law
When you are driving, you are automatically subjected to BAC tests whenever a police officer asks. You could get arrested for refusing chemical tests or sobriety tests, especially if done in a forcible manner.
Open container law
You cannot have opened alcohol in the car in the event of driving, may it be bottled, in a can, or in any other container. This excludes house coaches, cabs, trailers, buses, and even limousines. However it is still illegal for the driver to hold and drink an alcoholic beverage during driving.
Breaking these laws results in driver’s license confiscation and the result of a court hearing will determine if it will be suspended or not.
Penalties to face
One must know that a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) case where your license is suspended is different from the court case for your DUI offense.
Once charged for DUI, you will be required to attend a court hearing to learn of the charges and to submit your own plea. If you are in Nevada, particularly in Las Vegas, make sure that a Las Vegas DUI attorney is with you to properly handle the developing case.
If proven that you drove under the influence, you will be charged of misdemeanor and you will have to face certain penalties:
- 2 days to 6 months of imprisonment
- Fine of $400 to $1000
- 8 hour DUI school
- Treatment programs
- 10 days to 6 months in jail
- Fine of $750 to $1000
- Community service of 100 to 200 hours
- 1 to 6 years of imprisonment
- Fine of $2,000 to $5,000
In a DUI case that caused death or injury even on the first offense, you will be charged with felony. Penalties include:
- 2 to 20 years of imprisonment
- Fine of $2000 to $5000
After the first court hearing, you have to proceed to a second court hearing which is about the DMV case. Here, the matters of your suspension will be put down.
Licenses of first time DUI offenders will be suspended for 90 days, 1 year suspension for second time offenders, and 3 year suspension for a third time DUI offense.
After a considerable amount of time, the court will then release decisions on whether the license can be reinstated or not.
If your license is seized due to a DUI charge, you will be given a pink slip that will act as your temporary driving license that expires in 7 days.
You and your DUI attorney in Las Vegas can request for a temporary license, called a restricted license, with a longer expiry date in the court. Restricted licenses are issued to not completely disrupt a person’s life, especially if the charge is mild. With a restricted license, a driver can still drive towards work, court hearings, and other places under several strict guidelines.
It is difficult to contest and win a driver license suspension case in DMV, especially if there is evident proof against you. However, if you are still planning to do so, make sure that you discuss your appeals thoroughly with an experienced DUI attorney as most hearing officers in DMV are not judges but employees.
The best solution against a DUI arrest and a driver license suspension is to not drive under the influence right from the start. This way, you are not only protecting yourself, but other people’s lives as well.