Nevada DUI Laws & Penalties


Under Nevada DUI law, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is normally a misdemeanor with standardized penalties. But sentencing and punishment become much harsher if:

Continue reading to learn more about Las Vegas DUI law and punishments.

What are penalties for 1st-time DUI in Nevada?

A first-time DUI with no serious injuries is a misdemeanor in Nevada. Typically, the judge imposes no jail as long as the defendant completes all of the other requirements.

The standard DUI-first punishment under NRS 484C.400 includes the following:

  1. 2 days to 6 months in jail or 24 to 96 hours of community service in Nevada. But in most cases, the judge grants a 6-month suspended jail sentence in Nevada; therefore, you do no jail unless you fail to complete the other sentencing terms below;
  2. Nevada DUI School, which is an alcohol awareness program at your own expense;
  3. Fines ranging from $400 to $1,000 plus court costs. Las Vegas courts usually impose a $685 to $810 fine;
  4. Attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel, such as a MADD lecture that warns against drinking and driving;
  5. If you are under 21 or if your BAC was 0.18% or greater, an alcohol/drug dependency evaluation that costs $100;
  6. If your BAC was 0.18% or greater, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program;
  7. If your BAC was 0.18% or greater, a Nevada breath interlock device in your car for 12 to 36 months. If your BAC was less than .18, the court may order the breath interlock device for 3 to 6 months; and
  8. A 185-day suspension of your driver's license and a $35 civil penalty fee. However, you may be able to get a Nevada restricted license if you drive with a breath interlock device.

Note that you may be able to avoid jail and get your charge dismissed if you complete the Nevada Misdemeanor DUI Court program. This is an intensive rehabilitation program, and not everyone is eligible. You may be ordered to wear a Nevada SCRAM anklet that detects alcohol in your system.

Also note that a DUI-1st conviction must remain on your criminal record for seven years before you may seal it. (Learn more about sealing DUI records in Nevada.)

For more information about Nevada DUI laws for a first-time offense, go to our article on DUI 1st penalties in Nevada.

woman pulled over for drunk driving
Nevada DUI law requires at least 10 days in jail for a DUI-2nd.

What are penalties for 2nd-time DUI in Nevada?

A second-time DUI within seven years of the first is also a misdemeanor as long as no one else gets seriously hurt. But unlike first-time offenses, DUI-seconds carry some mandatory jail time.

The standard DUI-second punishment under NRS 484C.400 includes the following:

  1. 10 days to 6 months in jail or residential confinement;
  2. Fines ranging from $750 to $1,000 or an equivalent number of hours of community service. Las Vegas courts usually impose a $1,100 fine (which includes court costs);
  3. Attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel;
  4. An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation that costs $100;
  5. An alcohol or drug abuse treatment program;
  6. A breath interlock device in your car for 185 days;
  7. If your BAC was 0.18% or greater, a breath interlock device in your car for 12 to 36 months as a condition of obtaining a restricted license or reinstating your license; and
  8. A 1-year Nevada driver's license suspension or revocation, a 5-day registration suspension, and a $35 civil penalty fee

Note that you may be able to avoid jail and get your charge dismissed if you complete the Misdemeanor DUI Court program. This is an intensive rehabilitation program, and not everyone is eligible. You may be ordered to wear a SCRAM anklet that detects alcohol in your system.

Like first-time convictions, DUI-second convictions must remain on your criminal record for seven years before you may get it sealed.

For more information about Nevada DUI laws for a second-time offense, go to our article on DUI 2nd penalties in Nevada.

What are penalties for 3rd-time DUI in Nevada?

A third-time drunk or drugged driving conviction within seven years of the first is always a category B felony in Nevada. It makes no difference if no one got injured.

The standard DUI-third punishment under NRS 484C.400 are:

  1. 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison (usually in a minimum-security facility segregated from violent offenders);
  2. Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000;
  3. Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel;
  4. A breath interlock Device in your car for 12 to 36 months after your release;
  5. An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation; and
  6. A 3-year driver's license suspension or revocation, a 5-day registration suspension, and a $35 civil penalty fee

Note that you may be able to avoid prison and a felony conviction if you complete the Nevada Felony DUI Court program. This is an intensive rehabilitation program, and not everyone is eligible. You may be ordered to wear a SCRAM anklet that detects whether there is alcohol in your system.

Also note that DUI-thirds may never be sealed from your criminal record.

For more information about Nevada DUI laws for a third-time offense, go to our articles on DUI 3rd penalties in Nevada and Nevada felony DUI after multiple convictions.

car crash
Nevada DUI law requires at least two years in prison for causing a serious injury or fatality.

What are penalties if DUI causes injury or death?

A Nevada DUI causing injury or death (NRS 484C.430) is a category B felony. It makes no difference if you had a clean criminal record prior to the incident.

The standard "DUI with injury or death" punishment includes:

  • 2 to 20 years in prison (usually in a minimum-security facility segregated from violent offenders);
  • Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000;
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel; and
  • A breath interlock Device in your car for 12 to 36 months after your release

The judge may not grant probation in lieu of incarceration. And as with third-time DUIs, a DUI causing injury or death may never be sealed from your criminal record.

Note that drivers with three prior DUI convictions who then cause a drunk/drugged driving death instead face charges for the Nevada crime of vehicular homicide (NRS 484C.440).

Vehicular homicide is a category A felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 25 years in prison or a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 10 years;
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel; and
  • A breath interlock Device in your car for 12 to 36 months after your release

Vehicular homicide convictions may never be sealed from your criminal record.

DUI following a felony conviction

People with a prior Nevada felony DUI conviction will automatically be charged with a felony for any future DUIs. It makes no difference if those future DUIs cause no injuries.

Any DUI following a felony DUI conviction is charged is a category B felony. The penalties under NRS 484C.410 include:

  • 2 to 15 years in prison (usually in a minimum-security facility segregated from violent offenders);
  • Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000;
  • Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel; and
  • A breath interlock Device in your car for 12 to 36 months after your release

DUI with a child

DUI defendants who were transporting a child under age 15 may receive a punishment on the harsher end of the sentencing range. For instance, the judge in a first-time drunk driving case may order the maximum fine of $1,000 instead of a lesser fine.

Learn more in our article on DUI with a child in Nevada.

Plea bargaining a DUI charge

Nevada DUI law forbids prosecutors to reduce or dismiss DUI charges unless the evidence is weak. So the defense attorney's job is to show these prosecutors that their case has too many holes to win at trial.

Ideally, the defense attorney can persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the DUI charge completely or else reduce the DUI to reckless driving in Nevada.

Also see our article about violating DUI probation in Nevada.

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Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation today.

Call us if you have been arrested for DUI...

As you can see, penalties under the Nevada DUI statute can be harsh. But the worst part of a drunk driving conviction may be the indirect consequences: higher car insurance premiums, a faulty driving record, and a criminal history that likely will surface on a background check when you apply for a job.

It is not always possible to avoid these consequences . . . but many times it is. Favorable evidence and defenses may exist. This could give you leverage to negotiate a charge reduction or a good chance of winning at trial.

Contact one of our Las Vegas NV DUI lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to analyze the facts of your case.

¿Habla español? Obtener información acerca de las sanciones por conducir bajo la influencia (DUI) en Nevada.

For information about California DUI penalties, go to our article on California DUI penalties.

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