Nevada DUI Laws & Penalties

Updated


Under Nevada DUI law, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is normally a misdemeanor. But sentencing and driver's license penalties become harsher if:

Nevada DUI crime

Penalties

DUI 1st (in 7 years) - NRS 484C.400

Misdemeanor:

  • 2 days - 6 months in jail;
  • $400 - $1,000;
  • DUI School;
  • Victim Impact Panel;
  • If BAC > 0.18%, an alcohol/drug evaluation and a breath interlock device for 12 to 36 months; and
  • 185-day license suspension (but defendants may get a restricted license immediately with a breath interlock device)

Defendants may be able to avoid a conviction by completing Misdemeanor DUI Court, an intensive rehabilitation program.

DUI 2nd (in 7 years) - NRS 484C.400

 Misdemeanor:

  • 10 days - 6 months in jail;
  • $750 - $1,000;
  • Victim Impact Panel;
  • Alcohol/drug dependency evaluation;
  • Breath interlock device for 185 days;
  • If BAC > 0.18%, a breath interlock device for 12 to 36 months; and
  • 1-year license suspension

Defendants may be able to avoid a conviction by completing Misdemeanor DUI Court, an intensive rehabilitation program.

DUI 3rd (in 7 years) - NRS 484C.400

Category B felony:

Defendants may be able to avoid a felony conviction by completing Felony DUI Court, an intensive rehabilitation program.

DUI causing injury or death - NRS 484C.430

 Category B felony:

  • 2 - 20 years in prison;
  • $2,000 - $5,000;
  • Victim Impact Panel;
  • Breath interlock device for 12 to 36 months; and
  • 3-year license suspension

If the defendant has three prior DUI convictions, the crime becomes vehicular homicide (NRS 484C.440). This is a category A felony carrying a potential life sentence.

DUI after felony DUI conviction - NRS 484C.410

Category B felony:

  • 2 - 15 years in prison;
  • $2,000 - $5,000;
  • Victim Impact Panel;
  • Alcohol/drug dependency evaluation;
  • Breath interlock device for 12 to 36 months; and
  • 3-year license suspension

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

woman pulled over for drunk driving; Nevada DUI laws require a person arrested for DUI to take a blood or breath test
A 2nd offense of drunk driving carries at least 10 days in jail in Nevada.

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

It is a misdemeanor as long as no one else gets seriously hurt. Typically, the judge imposes no jail as long as the defendant completes all of the other requirements.

The standard DUI 1st punishment under NRS 484C.400 includes:

  1. 2 days to 6 months in jail or 24 to 96 hours of community service. But in most cases, the judge grants a 6-month suspended jail sentence; therefore, you do no jail unless you fail to complete the other sentencing terms below;
  2. 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 breath interlock device (also called "ignition interlock device", or IID) 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 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 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.

Also note that a first-time conviction of driving under the influence must remain on your criminal record for seven years before you may seal it. (Learn more about sealing drunk/drugged driving records in Nevada.)

2. What are the penalties for 2nd-time DUI?

It is also a misdemeanor as long as no one else gets seriously hurt. But unlike first-time offenses, second-time offenses carry some mandatory jail time.

The standard DUI 2nd punishment under NRS 484C.400 includes:

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

3. What are the penalties for 3rd-time DUI?

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 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 a third-time conviction of driving under the influence may never be sealed from your criminal record.

For more information, go to our article on multiple convictions of driving under the influence.

car crash; Las Vegas and Nevada DUI penalties are harsher of the driver causes an accident
Nevada law requires at least two years in prison for drunk driving causing a serious injury or fatality.

4. What are the penalties if DUI causes injury or death?

This is a category B felony. It makes no difference if you had a clean criminal record prior to the incident.

The standard "drunk/drugged driving with injury or death" punishment under NRS 484C.430 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 drunk/drugged driving, causing injury or death by driving under the influence may never be sealed from your criminal record.

Note that drivers with three prior drunk/drugged driving convictions who then cause a drunk/drugged driving death instead face charges for vehicular homicide.

Vehicular homicide is a category A felony 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.

5. What are the penalties for DUI after a felony DUI?

People with a prior felony drunk/drugged driving conviction will automatically be charged with a felony for any future DUIs. It makes no difference if those future incidents cause no injuries.

Driving under the influence following a felony DUI conviction 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

6. What are Nevada DUI laws if there was a child in the car?

Nevada drinking and driving laws are harsher when there is a child under age 15 in the vehicle. 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 drunk/drugged driving with a child.

7. Can DUI be reduced or dismissed?

Nevada DUI law forbids prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges unless the evidence is weak. (NRS 484C.420 - .440.) 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 drunk/drugged charge completely or else reduce the charge to reckless driving.

Also see our article about violating probation for driving under the influence.

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

Contact us for help...

As you can see, penalties under the Nevada DUI statutes 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 criminal defense 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 en Nevada.

In California? Go to our article on California drunk and drugged driving penalties.

In Colorado? Go to our article on Colorado drunk and drugged driving penalties.

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