In Nevada, transporting a child under 15 while driving under the influence is an aggravating factor causing judges to likely impose jail instead of the standard suspended sentence for first offense DUI convictions. Drunk driving with a minor 14 or younger can also lead to felony child endangerment charges.
- 1. What are Nevada’s DUI penalties with a child under 15?
- 2. Can I be charged with child endangerment?
- 3. How do I defend against the charges?
A first-time DUI while transporting a child under 15 is a misdemeanor in Nevada. The judge will likely impose up to six months of jail time. When there is no child in the car, judges typically grant a six-month suspended jail sentence.
Other DUI-first punishments are:
- An alcohol awareness online class (DUI School) that you pay for;
- Attendance at a “victim impact panel” such as MADD that you pay for;
- Fines of up to $1,000 and administrative/court costs;
- A $100 alcohol/drug dependency evaluation if you were under 21 or had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18% or higher;
- An alcohol or drug abuse treatment program if you had a BAC of 0.18% or higher;
- A breath interlock device installed in all of your vehicles for at least 185 days;
- An order to avoid further arrests or citations (other than minor speeding tickets) while the case is open; and
- The Nevada DMV suspends your license for 185 days and charges a $35 civil penalty fee (but it may be possible to get a restricted license immediately with an ignition interlock device)1
Yes. If you are arrested for DUI while transporting a child, you could also face charges of child endangerment (NRS 200.508), which is a form of child abuse. Prosecutors can press one charge for each child in the vehicle.
Penalties turn on whether the child suffered any harm and whether you have prior NRS 200.508 convictions:
Penalties under Nevada law
|The child suffered substantial bodily harm or mental harm||Category B felony: |
|The child suffered no harm, but the endangerment was willful||Category B felony: |
|The child suffered no harm, and the endangerment was not willful||Gross misdemeanor, if you had no previous NRS 200.508 convictions: |
Otherwise, a category C felony:
The best way to fight criminal charges of drunk/drugged driving with a child is to raise a reasonable doubt that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Five potential defenses that criminal defense attorneys use are:
- The police did not administer the field sobriety tests correctly.
- The police failed to observe you for 15 minutes prior to administering the breathalyzer.
- The breathalyzer had not been calibrated recently.
- The blood test samples were contaminated.
- You had a medical condition (such as GERD) that caused inaccurate breath test results.
If the district attorney cannot prove that you violated Nevada DUI laws, the entire charge should be dropped.
Arrested for a DUI offense in Nevada? Call our DUI lawyers…
Charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Contact our Las Vegas DUI attorneys. Our criminal defense lawyers practice in Las Vegas, NV, Clark County, and throughout the state of Nevada.
In California? Read our article on DUI/DWI with child under 14 (Vehicle Code 23572 VC).
In Colorado? Read our article on DUI/DWI with child under 16 (CRS 18-6-401).
- NRS 484C.400. See also Koenig v. State (1983) 99 Nev. 780, 672 P.2d 37.
- NRS 200.508; see also Childers v. State (1984) 100 Nev. 280, 680 P.2d 598.