A third-time DUI in Nevada will cause your driver’s license to be revoked for three years. But you may have the option to continue driving as long as you agree to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in each of your vehicles.
In order to avoid getting your driver’s license revoked at all, you need to:
- get your criminal DUI charges dismissed and
- win your DMV hearing.
Winning one but losing the other will still trigger a license revocation.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. How long will the Nevada DMV revoke my license for after a third DUI?
- 2. Does the revocation start after my arrest?
- 3. Are DMV hearings winnable?
- 4. What happens when the revocation ends?
1. How long will the Nevada DMV revoke my license for after a third DUI?
A third DUI within seven years carries a three-year license revocation in Nevada. It makes no difference which states the prior two DUIs occurred in.
Note that this three-year revocation begins only after you get released from any prison sentence you are ordered to serve.
You may have the option of driving during this revocation period if you get ignition interlock devices (IID) installed in all your cars. The engine will not start if the IID senses any alcohol on your breath sample.
You are responsible for all costs associated with getting an IID, including the:
- maintenance and calibration, and
2. Does the revocation start after my arrest?
Nevada police will take away your driver’s license immediately if you are arrested for DUI and:
- Your post-arrest DUI breath test shows a BAC of .08% or greater; or
- You refuse to take a breath or blood test.
The officer will forward your license to the Nevada DMV, and you will be given a temporary driving permit good for seven days.
To contest the loss of your license, you must request a hearing from the DMV in writing before your seven-day temporary license expires. If the seven days pass without you requesting the DMV hearing, your three-year license revocation will begin.
Note that you can delay a license revocation by electing to take a blood test rather than a breath test following your DUI arrest. Since it takes a few weeks for blood test results to come back, you can continue driving on your license during this waiting period.
If the blood results show you were over the legal limit for alcohol and/or drugs, the DMV will notify you by certified mail. The DMV notice will say that your license will be revoked unless you request a DMV hearing in writing within seven days.
(Note that you will be required to take the blood test rather than the breath test if the police have reason to believe you were driving under the influence of drugs.)2
3. Are DMV hearings winnable?
Yes, but DMV hearings are more difficult to win than criminal cases. Whereas criminal judges have to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the DMV judge can revoke your license based on very little evidence.
However, DMV hearings are still worth doing. They are an opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer and test out your arguments that could later help you in the criminal case.
Common defenses that criminal defense lawyer use during DMV hearings are:
- Law enforcement had insufficient reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop;
- Law enforcement failed to administer the field sobriety tests correctly;
- Your BAC results were inaccurate because of a medical condition, such as GERD;
- Law enforcement had insufficient probable cause to arrest you; or
- The breathalyzer was broken, or the phlebotomist who drew your blood let their certification lapse.
Note that you must win both your DMV hearing and criminal case in order to completely avoid having your license revoked.3
4. What happens when the revocation ends?
When the three-year revocation period ends following a DUI-3rd in Nevada, you must apply for a new license at a DMV office. Your license does not automatically get restored to you.
In California? Please visit our page on California DMV hearings.