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What is considered a DUI/DWI?

Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunken driving, drunk driving, operating under the influence, drinking and driving, or impaired driving is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs including those prescribed by physicians.
A common misconception with being arrested with a DUI is that the driver has to be under the influence of alcohol.  While this is true, being arrested for a DUI can also involve the use of several drugs including prescribed by a physician.

Why should I seek an attorney as soon as possible if charged with a DUI?

Following a DUI arrest where a breath test has been administered, you only have 7 days to request a DMV hearing to protect your license from being revoked or suspended. It's beneficial for a DUI lawyer to file the request and represent you at this administrative hearing.
 

Why should I hire Las Vegas Attorney Adam M. Vander Heyden?

When considering an attorney in Las Vegas, a consumer has to weigh his or her options very carefully.  Attorney Adam M. Vander Heyden has handled over 1600 DUI’s and is confident in only settling for the best possibly prognosis when taking on a DUI case.  The charge of a DUI is a very serious offense and it is critical that you find a lawyer that you can not only trust, but is experienced.  Adam Vander Heyden will meet with you in person for a free consultation, go to court for you, and alleviate the stress!  Attorney Adam Vander Heyden approaches every DUI case with a level of experience unparalleled to most of the competition in Las Vegas.  In every case, Attorney Heyden strives to obtain a dismissal of the charges, an acquittal in trial, or a non-DUI disposition.  It is extremely important that if arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas that you familiarize yourself with the issues involved in a typical drunk driving case so that you can make an informed decision when choosing representation.  For more information on any questions that you may have when facing a DUI, please call the DUI Doctor at 702-701-7800.  “We have the cure for your DUI!”

What else should I know when being arrested for DUI?

A common misconception when facing the charge of a DUI/DWI in Las Vegas is that there is only one set limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration.  In fact, a person may be arrested for a DUI for only having 0.02% BAC if under the age of 21!  Here are some facts that you need to know about DUI and DWI’s in the state of Nevada.

Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit
The illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Nevada is:
0.02% for drivers under the age of 21
0.04% for commercial license holders
0.08% for everyone else
The BAC applies only to alcohol.  If any detectable amount of an illegal substance―like cocaine or marijuana―is found in your blood, you'll receive at least the same penalties as you would for alcohol, and perhaps even more.

What are the laws regarding DUI in Nevada?

The Illegal Per Se Law simply means that driving with a BAC at or above the legally prescribed limit is an offense in and of itself. However, because the BAC limits are just a guide, you can also be arrested for a DUI or cited for having a lower―but still detectable―amount of alcohol in your system.
The Implied Consent Law means that you must submit to BAC testing when requested by a police officer when suspected of driving under the influence. Getting into the car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol already "implies" your consent to being tested.
If you resist, law enforcement has been given permission to use reasonable force. You can also be arrested immediately for resisting (this is the more likely result).  It is important to cooperate with the police if you are suspected of DUI.
The Open Container Law makes it illegal to drive a vehicle with opened alcoholic beverages anywhere in the car. It doesn't apply, however, to the living areas of a motor home or RV, or the passenger areas of buses, taxis, and limousines.
If you are driving under the influence with minors under the age of 15 in your car, that will be considered an "aggravating circumstance" and will undoubtedly result in harsher penalties.  In these cases, it is essential to hire an attorney to represent you.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be charged an extra $60 for the chemical tests, if any were done at the time of your arrest.
The Penalties
Getting a DUI comes with different types of consequences: administrative and criminal. The DMV will impose penalties on you and your license (administrative), and the courts may fine you and press charges (criminal).
The DMV will suspend your license upon your arrest for DUI. To get your license back after both this suspension and the court-imposed suspension have elapsed, you will be required to do the following at the DMV:
Pay all fines and fees.
Retake the vision and written tests, and possibly also the skills test.
First DUI conviction:
Driver license revoked for 90 days. After 45 days, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license that will enable you to drive to work and back.
Jail sentence of at least 2 days and up to 6 months, or 96 hours of community service.
Fine of at least $400 and up to $1,000.
Mandatory attendance at DUI school; average cost is $150 for tuition.
Possible order to attend a substance-abuse treatment program.
Second DUI conviction within seven years:
Driver license revoked for 1 year. You will not be eligible for a restricted license.
Jail sentence or home arrest of at least 10 days and up to six months.
Fine of at least $750 and up to $1,000.
One hundred to 200 hours of mandatory community service.
Possible car registration suspension.
Possible order to attend a substance-abuse treatment program or undergo clinical supervision for up to 1 year.
Third DUI (or more) conviction within seven years:
Driver license revoked for 3 years; you may be eligible for a restricted license under certain circumstances.
Prison sentence of at least 1 year and up to 6 years.
Fine of at least $2,000 and up to $5,000.
Possible car registration suspension.
DUI causing death or serious injury (even on a first offense):
Driver license revoked for 3 years.
Prison sentence of at least 2 years and up to 20 years.
Fine of at least $2,000 and up to $5,000.

If you are arrested for a DUI or DWI offense, you may spend a considerable amount of time in jail and back and forth between court.  It is very important to have a appointed attorney by your side in these situations to make an informed decision on whether to plead guilty or fight the charges. If you decide to fight the charges, you'll have your best chance of succeeding if you appoint a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense.
What is the Nevada Implied Consent Law?
Nevada law requires you to take a blood, breath or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Nevada’s "implied consent" law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC). The test must be taken within two hours from when you were last driving.
You could be arrested for a DUI even if you are not driving. If you have actual, physical control of the vehicle while under the influence, then that can be enough for an officer to arrest you and ask you to take a chemical test. Generally, actual physical control means you are in the vehicle and could make it move, but in Nevada, a court will look at several factors to decide whether a driver has actual physical control. It matters where the keys are, if the engine is running, and if the driver were asleep when the officer found him, among other things. To read more about these factors, see the case Barnier v. State, 67 P.3d 320 (2003).
Additionally, Nevada’s implied consent law says that you consent to taking a preliminary breath test, even if you have not been arrested. This works like a field sobriety test. The officer will use the results to establish probable cause that you were driving under the influence. If you refuse to take this test, then the officer will take your license, arrest you, and take you to the police station, hospital, or another reasonable place for a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine.
You can read Nevada’s implied consent law in the Nevada Revised Statutes 484C.150 and 160.

 

What could happen if I refuse to take the test?

First offense for refusal of DUI test:
The officer may direct that reasonable force be used to the extent necessary to obtain samples of blood from the person to be tested.
Second offense for refusal of DUI test:
The officer may direct that reasonable force be used to the extent necessary to obtain samples of blood from the person to be tested.
Third offense for refusal of DUI test:
The officer may direct that reasonable force be used to the extent necessary to obtain samples of blood from the person to be tested.

Once you are arrested, an officer may ask you to take more than one test. For example, it is possible for the breath test to show different results of your BAC. To make sure the results are accurate, an officer can ask you to take up to four tests – the first three could be breath tests but the fourth must be a blood test – to get two results where the difference in BAC is .02 percent or less. If you refuse to take any of these tests, then the officer can use reasonable force to make you.
There are some limits, however, on which tests an officer can force you to take. People who take anticoagulants for a heart condition or who have hemophilia don’t have to take the blood test. Also, you could refuse a blood test if a breath test is reasonably available. On the other hand, you could request a blood test. The officer should honor this request, but if this officer asked for a breath test first and later you are convicted of a DUI, then you would have to pay for the cost of that blood test.
In Nevada, the state will revoke your license immediately for 90 days if your test results show a BAC of .08% or more. There is no specific, additional penalty for refusing a chemical test because an officer can use reasonable force to make you take one. Evidence of your refusal may be used against you in court, however.
You can read more about the tests and reasonable force in Nevada Revised Statute 484C-200. Information on license revocation and how you can request a hearing to challenge that revocation is found in Nevada Revised Statutes 484-210 and 220.

Should I refuse to take the mandatory DUI test in Nevada?

In Nevada, it does not help you to refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test when you are arrested for a DUI because an officer can use reasonable force to make you take one. Even if you could refuse a DUI test, there would be no guarantee that you would avoid conviction. You can still be found guilty of a DUI even if your refusal means that the state does not have proof that your BAC was over .08%, the legal limit for those over 21. In fact, the prosecution can use your refusal against you by arguing that you refused the test because you knew that you were intoxicated and guilty of DUI.

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