DUI During the Holidays
DUI in Nevada
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol plays a role in nearly 40 percent of all fatal traffic incidents. In fact, driving under the influence (DUI) claims a life every half hour, and results in an injury every two minutes in the United States.
These all-too-common incidents present a number of dangers for drivers on the roadway, especially in areas of Nevada, like Las Vegas, which continues to see a high volume of DUI incidents each year.
What Qualifies as DUI in Nevada?
In the state of Nevada, a person is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. For those under 21 years of age, the maximum BAC is reduced to 0.02%. For those with a commercial driver’s license, the maximum BAC is .04%
Typically, BAC is assessed at the scene of an incident, or during a traffic stop if the officer has reason to suspect that the driver is under the influence of a substance and/or alcohol while behind the wheel. State law currently requires law enforcement officials to measure BAC within two hours of driving.
Nevada law also states that, if you are operating a vehicle, you are giving consent to submit to a BAC or chemical test, in order to determine the extent to which you are impaired to operate a motor vehicle. Although some drivers may refuse a BAC test, state law may allow law enforcement to order reasonable force to be used, depending on whether or not it is a first, second or third offense.
It’s important to note, however, that DUI incidents do not need to strictly include the use of alcohol. They can also involve illegal drugs, as well as those legally prescribed by a medical professional.
The Holidays – High Risk for DUI Incidents
In an attempt to crack down on reckless driving and other negligent behavior behind the wheel, drivers may notice additional police presence on the roadways at certain times of the year, particularly holidays like:
- Labor Day
- New Year’s Eve
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Fourth of July
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), show that the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day remains one of the most at-risk for drunk driving incidents, boasting rates two to three times higher than the remainder of the year.
Even if an individual does not feel impaired, or feel that their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle has been compromised, they can still be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is found to exceed the legal limit.
Depending on the state in which you reside, there can be a number of different consequences or penalties if you are found to be driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What Are the Penalties for DUI in Nevada?
Under current Nevada state law, the penalties for DUI are assessed depending on the type and frequency of offenses. First offenders found guilty of DUI alone typically will not face jail time. Instead, the state mandates community service.
However, second and third time offenders face a strong possibility of jail time, with a possible maximum of 10 days and one year, respectively. Any DUI convictions remain on your record, and can be held against you if facing sentencing in another DUI offense, for a period of seven years.
In cases where DUI was a factor, but led to a severe offense, like cases of vehicular manslaughter, penalties can be far more severe, and can include several years in prison, as well as hefty fines.
The state of Nevada also requires an ignition interlock device (IID) for anyone, including first offenders, convicted of DUI. An IID can be ordered for a period ranging from three to six months.
Legal Assistance with DUI Injury
Have you or someone you know suffered injury from an accident or injury as a result of someone driving while under the influence? If so, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, which can help offset the many financial hurdles that come with personal injury, including:
- Mounting medical costs
- Rehabilitative costs
- Lost wages
- Temporary or permanent disability
Only a qualified personal injury attorney can assess your individual situation to determine the best course of action for recovering damages and other compensation related to personal injury.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas
That’s where the highly skilled attorneys at Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith Law Firm come in. Our firm, which serves the Las Vegas community, as well as victims around Nevada, specializes exclusively in personal injury matters, and remains a prominent legal resource for victims and their families on the road to recovery.
Protecting your rights is our priority. Let us work with you to assess your situation and chart a course of action for restitution. Every victim of personal injury deserves justice, and our team of dedicated DUI attorneys is prepared to fight for yours today.
To schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case with a member of our personal injury team, call Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith Law Firm today at (702) 228-2600.