Driving Under the Influence in and of itself is a misdemeanor crime. Driving Under the Influence with an excessive amount of alcohol or prohibited substance in your system, or which results in an accident, substantial bodily harm and/or death however, is a felony criminal charge. You do not necessarily have to be drunk to be arrested for Driving Under the Influence, and you can be arrested for DUI even if your test results are less than the state’s legal limit (.08 for alcohol.)
By driving in the state of Nevada, you have given the state permission to test your breath or blood for the presence of alcohol and/or other drugs, regardless of which state has issued your driver license. Nevada Revised Statute 484C.160 states, in part:
1. …any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to an evidentiary test of his or her blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance to determine the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood or breath or to determine whether a controlled substance, chemical, poison, organic solvent or another prohibited substance is present, if such a test is administered at the direction of a police officer having reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be tested was:
(a) Driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance;
Dealing with an arrest for DUI in Nevada is a two-step process: Administrative proceedings, which are handled through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, and criminal proceedings, which are handled in a court of law.
A Nevada driver license is property of the State of Nevada, and therefore, may be confiscated at any time, including when you are arrested for DUI. If you participate in a breathalyzer test at the time of the arrest, and the results show a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, the officer will confiscate your Nevada license immediately, in essence suspending your driving privileges. You will be given a pink slip of paper that allows you to drive for SEVEN days. During those seven days, you may contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to request an administrative hearing. Two days after you request a DMV hearing, you may visit any full-service DMV office to obtain a temporary license that will allow you to drive until the hearing.
If you opt for a blood test instead of a breathalyzer test, your license will not be confiscated at the time of the arrest. You will be notified of the blood-test results by mail, and the DMV will notify you of specific dates of license suspension, should they impose such. You have SEVEN days from the date of the suspension notice to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to request an administrative hearing. Two days after you request a DMV hearing, you may visit any full-service DMV office to obtain a temporary license that will allow you to drive until the hearing.
In either case, the Department of Motor Vehicle administrative hearing MUST be within 90 days of the date of revocation. You will be notified by mail with the date, time, and location of the DMV hearing.
The disposition of the criminal charges dictates the amount of the fine, the jail sentence, the increase in insurance, and the possible negative impact on employment. Our goal is to get your charges dismissed, or at the very least, reduced. Our attorneys specialize in reading arrest reports, analyzing lab results, and using that information to negotiate your case with the prosecuting attorney to obtain the best outcome for the client, which usually includes no jail sentence, a significantly reduced fine, and a DUI class.
Call a Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorney at (702) 731-0000 for a free consultation.