Arrested for DUI in Las Vegas, Nevada
Your Las Vegas DUI arrest probably began with an officer stopping you for some questionable driving, or possibly because you encountered a DUI roadblock (or
sobriety checkpoint) or were involved in an automobile accident. You were questioned briefly and then asked to get out of the car and perform some field sobriety tests. You may then have been asked to breath into a portable roadside breath test; this relatively primitive device will give a preliminary idea of your blood-alcohol concentration but is generally not admissible as evidence in court.
After the officer arrests you, he will inform you that you must take a breath or blood test. This will take place at the police station where, if you choose breath testing, two breath samples will be obtained. You should understand that these tests are unreliable and often inaccurate, due largely to the variability of human physiology and defects in the equipment and/or procedures. If a blood test is to be given, this may be taken by a technician at the station with a pre-packaged kit or at a medical facility. You are required by Nevada's
If your breath test indicates a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher, your Nevada driver's license will be confiscated at the police station. The period of suspension for a first offense within seven years is 90 days. You will, however, receive a 7-day temporary license; this permits you to drive while you or your attorney requests a hearing from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to contest the suspension. If a blood test is taken, you will keep your license until notification of the lab results.
You should immediately contact an experienced DUI attorney to represent you in both the criminal and license suspension proceedings. The DMV must be contacted within seven days for the purpose of demanding a hearing to contest the grounds for the suspension. This is a completely separate proceeding from the criminal case. For further details, see our
The next step is to appear for the arraignment in criminal court. Your attorney can usually accomplish this without your physical presence. At this proceeding, a plea of
not guilty will probably be entered, copies of the criminal complaint and police report obtained, issues of bail resolved, and a pretrial hearing date set. Your attorney should thereafter advise you of developments as they occur.
Aside from the license suspension, the penalties for a first-offense drunk driving conviction in Nevada are:
- 2 days to 6 months jail or community service
- vehicle impounded
- fines of $340 to $1175
- attendance at DUI school
- attendance at
Victim Impact Panel
If there is a prior conviction within seven years, the criminal penalties are increased substantially. If the DUI is the third within seven years, or if it involved injury or death to another, the matter becomes a felony and is punishable by a term in state prison.