DUI on Private Property in Nevada
Explained by Las Vegas, Nevada DUI Defense Lawyers

Can I Be Arrested for DUI on a Private Road in Nevada?

Sign on desert road reading "private drive do not enter"

There are many roads on which you can be charged with DUI in Nevada -- even, sometimes, if you were driving on private property.

Under NRS 484C.110, you commit DUI when you are driving or in physical control of a vehicle on either:

  • A highway, or
  • Premises to which the public has access.

How Nevada law defines "highway"

Nevada defines a “highway” as:

  • The entire width between the boundary lines of every way dedicated to a public authority when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic, whether or not the public authority is maintaining the way,1 and
  • Sidewalks adjacent to a highway.2

So basically, if a road is open to the public, it is a Nevada highway for purposes of DUI law, regardless of who owns the property.

How Nevada law defines "premises to which the public has access"

Nevada law defines “premises to which the public has access” as:

Property in private or public ownership onto which members of the public regularly enter, are reasonably likely to enter, or are invited or permitted to enter as invitees or licensees, whether or not access to the property by some members of the public is restricted or controlled by a person or a device.3

Examples of such premises include (without limitation):

  • Parking decks, parking garages, or other parking structures,
  • Paved or unpaved parking lots or other paved or unpaved areas where vehicles are parked or are reasonably likely to be parked,
  • Roads or ways that provide access to:
    • places of business;
    • governmental buildings; or
    • apartment buildings;
  • Mobile home parks;
  • Residential areas or residential communities which are gated or enclosed or the access to which are restricted or controlled by a person or a device; or
  • Any other similar area, community, building or structure.

Truly private roads or driveway, such as those leading to individual dwellings or farms are not public under Nevada law. Thus if you try to pull your car out of your driveway while drunk, but crash into a wall on the side of the driveway, you cannot be arrested for DUI.

However, given how extensive the definitions of “highway” and “public premises” are in Nevada, the odds are that if you drive drunk or drugged in Nevada on what you think is private property, you might nevertheless be charged with a Nevada DUI.

Also see our article on DUI in a golf cart.

Call us for help…

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If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our caring Las, Vegas Nevada DUI defenses lawyers know the best defenses to a Nevada DUI. We understand the problems with Nevada DUI chemical tests and how to challenge the results.
Most of all, we know how to negotiate plea bargains to get your Nevada DUI charges reduced or dismissed. And if what you need is help, we'll work to get you that.

We also have a proven track record of success helping clients keep their driver's licenses at Nevada DMV license suspension hearings.

To schedule your free consultation, call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673), or fill out the confidential form on this page.

To learn about DUI laws in California, please see our article: California DUI Penalties, Punishment and Sentencing.

Legal references:

  1. NRS 484A.095.
  2. NRS 484A.240.
  3. NRS 484A.185,


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