Each year, millions of people visit Las Vegas to have a good time. It's a place where tourists can take a break from their everyday lives to party hard, gamble, drink, eat delicious food and attend world-class shows.
Unfortunately, some people find out the hard way that having a little too much fun in “Sin City” has steep consequences. Since the city is notorious for hard partying, A DUI arrest can occur just about anywhere - whether it be at a checkpoint, at the scene of a collision, or is the result of a minor traffic stop.
If you've been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas, obtaining the representation of an attorney is important. Many people are under the impression that all hope is lost once they've taken a blood alcohol content (BAC) test because they've been convinced that it's the ultimate factor in determining guilt. But this isn't always the case. Breathalyzers and blood testing aren't infallible, and neither are police officers.
A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney is capable of successfully combating the prosecution to prove the inaccuracy of reporting on your behalf. At The Law Office of Travis Akin, your case will be handled by an experienced lawyer that has helped many people in your exact predicament achieve true justice.
But to truly understand how important it is to have an attorney in your corner, you need to be aware of what's at stake. Continue reading to learn more about DUI laws and penalties in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas DUI Laws
A DUI is characterized by a driver being impaired by a substance. You can be charged with a DUI in Las Vegas for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and other illegal substances.
Alcohol DUI is the most common form of impaired driving. Under Nevada law, a person can be charged with an alcohol DUI on two occasions.
- If that person has a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or more in his or her blood or breath within 2 hours of driving and/or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle; or
- If that person is found to be under the influence of alcohol to a degree which leaves them incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
Although marijuana is now legal in Nevada, driving under the influence of marijuana is still against the law. It is also treated as harshly as an alcohol DUI. According to Nevada statutes, you can be charged with a marijuana DUI if you are found to have as little as:
- 2 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana in your blood or
- 5 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolite
A nanogram is one billionth of a gram.
Impairment by marijuana has always been tough to establish. That's because the drug's presence in the body, its concentration, and its impairing effects are difficult to gauge. Since individuals differ in how their bodies absorb and metabolize marijuana, some may become impaired by a certain THC concentration, while others may remain unaffected. Marijuana also remains in the body for days or even weeks long after the impairing effects have disappeared. Currently, Las Vegas law enforcement relies on blood tests to determine THC levels. Nevertheless, such methods can't always effectively distinguish between recent use and chronic use.
Prescription Drug DUI
Unlike many other states, Nevada doesn't specifically list threshold nanogram amounts for prescription drugs like Xanax, Vicodin, OxyContin, and Morphine. But there is a provision in state law that makes it illegal to drive under the influence of prescription drugs. Nevada statute NRS 484C.110(2)(c) claims that it is illegal to “inhale, ingest, apply or otherwise use any chemical poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a motor vehicle.”
Similar to alcohol and marijuana DUIs, the presence of prescription in a driver's body will be detected by a blood draw test.
Illegal Substance DUI
Nevada law NRS 484C.110(3) deems that it is against the law to drive or be in control of a vehicle while being impaired by any of the following quality of illegal substances:
- 150 nanograms of cocaine
- 2,000 nanograms of heroin
- 25 nanograms of LSD
- 500 nanograms of methamphetamine
- 10 nanograms of morphine
Las Vegas DUI Penalties
A DUI in Las Vegas is usually charged as a misdemeanor. But sentences and punishments become more severe with each subsequent DUI conviction within a 7-year period. Here are the “standard” DUI penalties for a first-time, traditional DUI.
- 2 days to 6 months in jail or 24 hours to 96 hours of community service
- A fine ranging from $400 to $1,000 plus court costs
- Nevada DUI School
- A lecture by the Nevada Victim Impact Panel
- If you're under 21 or your BAC was .18 or greater, an alcohol/drug dependency evaluation will be issued
- If your BAC was .18 or greater, an alcohol/drug abuse treatment program
- If your BAC was .18 or greater, the installation of a Nevada Breath Interlock Device for one year to three years - if the BAC was less than .18, the court may order an Interlock Device for 3 months to 6 months
- 185-day suspension of your driver's license
If this isn't your first rodeo or there are aggravated factors in your DUI case, expect the penalties to be much harsher.
Las Vegas DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, you need experienced legal representation. It's important to remember that a DUI charge does not guarantee a conviction, regardless of how challenging the situation may seem. With the help of a seasoned legal professional, you have a much higher chance of getting your charges reduced or even dropped altogether. If you seek the help of the Law Office of Travis Akin, rest assured that we'll build the solid defense you need to fight this case.
Call or contact Travis Akin today at (702) 510-8567 for a free consultation.