It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. It is also illegal to operate a motorized vehicle if you are unable to do so safely, regardless of the level of your BAC.
Many drivers who have been arrested for a Nevada DUI are concerned that they will lose their driver’s license. Even if you are not convicted of a DUI this is a valid concern. This blog will discuss how you might lose your license if you are arrested or if you are convicted of DUI in Nevada.
When will my driver’s license be suspended after a DUI?
If you have been arrested for DUI there are two ways you could lose your driver’s license. Drivers may have their license suspended if they fail or refuse a BAC test after a DUI arrest, if they are convicted of DUI or both.
Administrative license suspension in Nevada
Many drivers are surprised when they find out that even if they are not convicted of a Nevada DUI they may have their license suspended through a civil proceeding by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Under Nevada’s Implied Consent laws a driver who is operating a motorized vehicle on a highway or property that the public has access to has given their “implied consent” to take a breathalyzer test as well as a blood, breath or urine test if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Drivers who refuse this test or who consent and fail the BAC test can have their license immediately suspended.
License suspension through a criminal conviction in Nevada
If you are arrested for drunk driving and you take the chemical test but your BAC is below the legal limit you will avoid an administrative license suspension, but this does not mean that the state will not have sufficient evidence to charge you with a DUI. For instance, if your BAC was 0.07% but there is other evidence of intoxication (for example you caused injury to another driver, you admitted you were intoxicated or you failed your field sobriety test) you may still be arrested and charged with drunk driving.
Under the scenario identified above your license would not be suspended through an administrative license suspension. but if you are convicted of DUI. you may still have your license suspended. For a first time DUI conviction in Nevada you will face a 90 day license suspension, although you can request a work permit after half the suspension is served. The state may also require that you install an ignition interlock device as a condition of the work permit.
Avoiding a license suspension after a Nevada DUI arrest
If you are facing an administrative license suspension you can avoid the suspension by requesting a hearing and challenging the suspension. If you win at the hearing this will eliminate the administrative penalties.
Avoiding a criminal license suspension will require you to fight the DUI charges and have the courts determine you are not guilty of DUI.