Nevada DUI laws make a third DUI in seven years a felony, carrying at least a year in prison. But since 2007, third-time offenders have had the choice to go to DUI Court instead, a rigorous rehab program. In Douglas County, half of the participants have been successful and had their felony DUI convictions reduced to gross misdemeanors.
The Nevada DUI Diversion program mandates three-to-five years of close supervision, six months of house arrest, electronic monitoring, drug and alcohol counseling, a Sobrietor breath tester hooked up to their home phones, searches and seizures which are unannounced, and biweekly court appearances. If a participant is found to be in violation of the terms, Nevada DUI laws require him/her to spend a month in jail, and a second offense removes the participant from the program completely and puts them in prison. And if a participant is convicted of a DUI after completing the program, it's counted as a fourth drunk driving offense, with Nevada DUI Laws mandating two-to-fifteen years in prison.
Another benefit of the Nevada DUI Diversion program is saved taxpayer money and more prison space because the participants cover all the costs: Over the three-to-five years, DUI court students pay up to $14,000. Furthermore, participants may continue going to work, school, medical appointments, church and counseling, even while they're under house arrest. (See our related article, "Do I need a lawyer for my Nevada DUI case?")