Drinking and Driving Laws in Nevada
The State of Nevada prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The .08 BAC standard is the measurement used across the United States for the “impaired” driver. Nevada has lower limits for drivers under the age of 21 and commercial drivers. In addition to alcohol, drivers can also be arrested and convicted of driving under the influence with a score lower than .08 if they are found to be under the influence of controlled or prohibited substances such as marijuana, cocaine, barbiturates, and other drugs.
WHAT ARE DUI BAIL BONDS?
When a driver is pulled over and is suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Las Vegas, the police officer may arrest the driver. The driver will be booked and processed into the jail to wait for a preliminary hearing in order for the judge to determine and set an amount for bail. The bail is set as a guarantee that the defendant will return to court for his or her trial. Oftentimes, an accused party cannot afford to pay the entire amount of the bond. By paying just 15 percent of this bail to a Las Vegas bail bondsman, an accused can be released from jail until the trial in the same manner as if the entire bail amount was paid. The defendant must attend the trial or the bond will be revoked and the accused party will be required to spend time in jail.
HOW DUI BAIL WORKS
Planning posting bail for an individual arrested for DUI? Here’s how the process works.
- Contact a licensed bail agency.
- Provide the bail agent with the defendant’s name and location of incarceration (i.e. jail in which the defendant is being held.) If you don’t know at what jail the defendant is held, don’t worry. The bail agent has a real-time access to this information.
- Pay the bail bond agent 15% of the bond amount.
- The defendant is released from custody and must appear at all future court dates.
HOW DOES DUI ARREST CASE AFFECT DRIVER’S LICENSE
A Nevada DMV case has a narrower scope than a criminal case. Whereas criminal courts impose fines and even incarceration for a DUI, all the DMV can do is to suspend the defendant’s driver’s license if the driver’s blood alcohol level (BAL) is .08 or above. The length of the suspension depends on the defendant’s DUI history:
- A first time DUI carries a 90-day driver’s license suspension
- A second-time DUI carries a 1-year driver’s license suspension
- A third-time or subsequent DUI carries a 3-year driver’s license suspension
Note that it is a misdemeanor in Nevada for a person with a suspended driver’s license to drive before the suspension period is up. Penalties include up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
POTENTIAL AVERAGE COSTS RELATED TO A DUI:
- Fines and court costs – $300 to $2,500
- Attorney fees – $2,500 to $10,000
- Bail – $150 to $2,500
- DUI Education School – $150 to $2,000
- Car towing and impounding – $100 to $1,200
- License reinstatement – $95 to $250
- Car ignition interlock device – $325 and up
- Incarceration costs – $10 to $50
- Increased premiums with auto insurance over one year – $5,000 to $10,000 over the next 5 years
- Temporary loss of income
- Periodic blood tests
- Monthly monitoring fees
- Loss of Job
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR RELEASE
Although a good bail bonds service will use their intimate knowledge of the process to minimize your jail stay, it could still be hours-long depending on how busy jail staff are and on how long a particular jail’s booking and release processes take. Another factor relates to when bail can be posted: at the Las Vegas City Jail, for example, agents can post bail for you any time of day, but at the Clark County Jail, bail-posting hours are restricted to between 8am and 12 midnight.
While arrestees have a Constitutional right to non-excessive bail, except in capital cases or in instances of high flight risk, those out on bond also have responsibilities. First, you must punctually attend all scheduled court hearings or face the following consequences:
- Forfeiture of the bail bond, permanently if the judge opts not to reinstate it once you show up for court
- Being declared a fugitive from justice and facing re-arrest by a bounty hunter hired by your bail bondsman
- Ineligibility to be bailed out again after your re-arrest, and likely ineligibility if later arrested on other charges