Nevada Revised Statute 483.462 defines underage DUI as when a person under 21 years old drives with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02% to 0.08%. Following an underage DUI arrest, defendants who took a breath test will have their license suspended immediately. Meanwhile, drivers who took a blood test get to keep their license until their blood results come back as 0.02% or higher (which is typically weeks after the incident.)
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
NRS 483.462. 1. A peace officer who has received the result of a test given pursuant to NRS 484C.150 or 484C.160 which indicates that a person less than 21 years of age to whom the test was given had a concentration of alcohol of 0.02 or more but less than 0.08 in his or her blood or breath shall prepare a written certificate indicating whether the peace officer:
(a) Had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol;
(b) Served an order of suspension on the person pursuant to subsection 2; and
(c) Issued the person a temporary license pursuant to subsection 2.
2. If a person less than 21 years of age to whom a test is given pursuant to NRS 484C.150 or 484C.160 is present when a peace officer receives the result of the test and the test indicates that the person has a concentration of alcohol of 0.02 or more but less than 0.08 in his or her blood or breath, the peace officer shall:
(a) Serve an order of suspension of the license, permit or privilege;
(b) Seize any license or permit of the person;
(c) Advise the person that the person has the right to:
(1) Administrative and judicial review of the suspension; and
(2) Have a temporary license;
(d) If the person requests a temporary license, issue the person a temporary license on a form approved by the Department which becomes effective 24 hours after the person receives the temporary license and expires 120 hours after it becomes effective; and
(e) Transmit to the Department:
(1) Any license or permit seized pursuant to paragraph (b); and
(2) The written certificate which the peace officer is required to prepare pursuant to subsection 1.
3. If a person less than 21 years of age to whom a test is given pursuant to NRS 484C.150 or 484C.160 is not present when a peace officer receives the result of the test and the test indicates that the person has a concentration of alcohol of 0.02 or more but less than 0.08 in his or her blood or breath, the peace officer shall transmit to the Department a copy of the result of the test and the written certificate which the peace officer is required to prepare pursuant to subsection 1.
4. The Department, upon receiving a copy of the result of the test and the written certificate transmitted by the peace officer pursuant to subsection 3, shall:
(a) Review the result of the test and the written certificate; and
(b) If the Department determines that it is appropriate, issue an order to suspend the license, permit or privilege to drive of the person by mailing the order to the person at the person’s last known address.
5. An order for suspension issued by the Department pursuant to subsection 4 must:
(a) Explain the grounds for the suspension;
(b) Indicate the period of the suspension;
(c) Require the person to transmit to the Department any license or permit held by the person; and
(d) Explain that the person has a right to administrative and judicial review of the suspension.
6. An order for suspension issued by the Department pursuant to subsection 4 is presumed to have been received by the person 5 days after the order is deposited, postage prepaid, in the United States mail by the Department. The date of mailing of the order may be shown by a certificate that is prepared by an officer or employee of the Department specifying the date of mailing.
Drunk driving suspects who are under 21 years old are given the choice of taking a breath test or a blood test following their arrest. NRS 483.462 outlines what police are supposed to do when the test comes back with a BAC of at least 0.02% but less than 0.08%.
If the defendant is present with the police officer when the BAC results come back (which typically happens with breath tests since results are instant), the police would immediately:
- seize the defendant’s driver’s license,
- serve an order of suspension, and
- advise the defendant that he/she can ask for a DMV hearing (to contest the suspension) and for a temporary license.1
But if the defendant is not present when the BAC results come back (which happens with blood tests since they take weeks to process), the police would then send the results to the Nevada DMV. The DMV would then mail the defendant an order of suspension with instructions on how to request a DMV hearing.2
If defendants request a DMV hearing, they can continue driving pending the outcome of their hearing. But even if they end up winning the DMV hearing, they would still face a license suspension if they lose the criminal case. And vice versa: Winning the criminal case but losing the DMV hearing would still trigger a license suspension.
Nevada has a zero tolerance policy for underage drivers. Whereas adults commit DUI if their BAC is 0.08% or higher, drivers under 21 commit DUI if their BAC is 0.02% or higher. It does not matter if the driver is unimpaired and feels sober: Since underage drinking is illegal, underage drinking and driving with a low BAC is treated like a regular DUI.3
- NRS 483.462 – Test indicating person less than 21 years of age has concentration of alcohol of 0.02 or more but less than 0.08 in blood or breath; duties of peace officer and Department; order for suspension of license.