Driving while under the influence of alcohol is very dangerous behavior. Many people suffer severe injuries, sustain extreme property damage, and even lose their lives as a result of a drunk driver. Nevada takes drunk driving very seriously, and depending on the number of previous offenses and the damage the accident caused, a drunk driver can face jail time, fines, and administrative penalties, such as license suspension.
Nevada’s DUI Laws
In the state of Nevada, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime. The state does not allow you to operate a motor vehicle under the following conditions.
- You are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.
- You have a BAC of .04% or more and you are a commercial driver.
- You have a BAC of .02% or more and you are under the age of 21.
You can receive a DUI charge in Nevada even if you are not actually driving a vehicle at the time of the arrest. State law does not allow you to be in physical control of any vehicle if your BAC falls under the above legal requirements – this includes turning on the vehicle, sitting in front of the A/C system, or listening to music on the car’s sound system.
Consequences for a DUI in Nevada
Nevada assigns penalties for a DUI depending on the circumstances of the case. Typically, the first offense with little damage or injury will see a lower penalty, while multiple offenses, serious property damage, injury, or death will see a higher penalty.
- If you receive a charge for a first offense DUI in Nevada, you will have to spend at least 2 days in jail up to a maximum of 180 days or perform 48 to 96 hours of community service. You will also receive a $400 minimum fine and lose your license for at least 185 days. Depending on the BAC at the time of the DUI, the state may place an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 185 days up to 3 years.
- If this is a second offense DUI, you will have to spend at least 10 days in jail or on house arrest up to 180 days. You may also have to pay a minimum $750 fine or perform the equivalent number of community service hours. The state will suspend your license for at least 1 year and place an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 185 days up to 3 years.
- For a third offense DUI, you can face up to 1 to 6 years in prison. You will have to pay a fine that is a minimum of $2,000 and the state will suspend your license for at least 3 years. The ignition interlock device will stay on your vehicle from 1 to 3 years.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident with a Drunk Driver
If a drunk driver crashes into your vehicle and injures you on Nevada roads, get to a safe place, call 911 as soon as possible to bring medical attention and law enforcement to the scene. The police will place the driver under arrest and interview you and any witnesses. Take photographs of your vehicle, exchange information with the driver, and collect the contact information of the witnesses. Seek treatment for your injuries and save all of your paperwork.
The driver may face criminal penalties, and you can also hold him or her accountable for your damages through a lawsuit or insurance claim. These civil actions can help you claim compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered in the accident.
If you are in an accident with a drunk driver in Nevada, you can hold the perpetrator criminally and civilly responsible for your damages. Depending on the facts of your case, you can claim compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and more through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Talk to your Las Vegas car accident attorney soon after your accident to determine your next steps.