In Nevada, a 3rd DUI within a 7-year time frame is treated as a category B felony. If convicted, you face
- a mandatory 1 to 6 years in state prison and
- fines ranging from $2000.00 to $5000.00.
The standard penalties for a DUI-3rd conviction include:
- 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison;
- $2,000 to $5,000 in fines;
- Victim Impact Panel attendance;
- An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation and possibly rehab; and
- A three-year driver’s license revocation (with the possibility of a restricted license after 1 year)
Then once you are out of custody, you will need to keep a breath interlock device in your car for one to three years. 1 2 3
1. What is a third-time DUI in Nevada?
You face DUI-third charges if:
- You get arrested for a DUI without causing serious injuries or death; and
- You have two prior DUI convictions from any state in the past seven years
This seven-year time span is called a
- “lookback” or
- “washout” period.
DUI is short for “driving under the influence.” It occurs when either:
- your driving is impaired by alcohol or drugs;
- you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08%; or
- you have illegal quantities of certain drugs in your system4
If you plead guilty or no contest to a DUI-3rd, you sign an “admonishment of rights” form. It explains that any future DUI arrests will be charged as felonies even if you cause no injuries. (To see an example form, click here.)
2. Will I lose my license?
The Nevada DMV will revoke your driver’s license for three years following a DUI-third arrest. But it may be possible to get a restricted license after one year.5 For a restricted license application, click here.
Even if the case gets dismissed in criminal court, the DMV can still suspend your license. But your attorney may try to contest this license suspension at a DMV administrative hearing.
Once the three-year revocation period is over, you may have to take another driving test and pay various fees.6
|Nevada DMV penalties||Fees|
|Victim Compensation Civil Penalty||$35|
You will also have to maintain SR-22 insurance for three years even if you do not own a vehicle. Learn more about driver’s license revocations for DUI-thirds in Nevada.
3. How do I fight the case?
Nevada prosecutors are prohibited from reducing or dismissing DUI charges unless they have inadequate evidence.7 So your defense attorney’s job is to show prosecutors that their evidence is too weak to support a conviction.
There are many potential DUI defenses. The facts of each case dictate which strategies would be most effective.
Possible defenses include the following:
- Lack of probable cause: The case may be dismissed if the arresting officer had no reasonable grounds to suspect criminal activity when you were pulled over.
- Police mistake: Police must follow detailed instructions when administering the field sobriety tests. The results could be voided if the officer did not follow the rules of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).8
- Medical condition: Certain medical conditions can cause inaccurately high BAC results. Examples include:
- Rising blood alcohol: Your BAC rises after you stop drinking. So your levels may be legal while you are driving but then peak hours later when you get tested. You commit no crime as long as your levels are legal while you are driving.
- Faulty chemical test equipment: The Intoxilyzer 5000 EN breathalyzer and blood testing equipment may be defective or in disrepair. Any BAC results from broken equipment are void.
- Lapsed certification: Only certified technicians may maintain breathalyzers and read blood samples. If they let their licenses lapse, their lab results could be voided.
4. Can I do DUI Court instead of prison?
Yes, if you get accepted into Felony DUI Court (also called Serious Offenders Program). This is an intensive three-to-five-year rehabilitation program. It typically involves:
- periods of home confinement
- alcohol and drug testing
- wearing a SCRAM alcohol-detection anklet
- rigorous counseling
- court monitoring
If you complete the program, the DUI-third charge will be reduced to a second offense DUI — which is a misdemeanor in Nevada. 9
5. Can I seal my record?
Criminal records of third-time DUI convictions may never be sealed. But DUI-third charges that get plea bargained down or dismissed can be.10
Nevada DUI conviction
Record Seal Wait Time
|DUI 1st or DUI 2nd||7 years after the case closes|
|Reckless driving (NRS 484B.653)||1 year after the case closes|
|Dismissal (no conviction)||Immediately|
Learn more about how to seal DUI records in Nevada.
6. Can I keep my gun?
If you are convicted of a third-time drunk or drugged driving charge in Nevada, you may not keep your firearms. The only way convicted felons may get gun rights restored is through a governor’s pardon.
7. Can I get deported?
In the current climate, however, any non-citizen facing felony charges is vulnerable to removal proceedings.
Call us for help…
Accused of driving under the influence in Nevada? Call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers.
We can consult with you about how best to craft a successful defense and whether you are eligible for the Serious Offenders Program. Perhaps we can get the charge reduced or dismissed.
Arrested in California? See our article on DUI 3rd in California.
Arrested in Colorado? See our article on DUI 3rd in Colorado.