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Nevada DUI Legislation

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By StraightDUI Staff on 4/7/2008

In the state of Nevada, a person who is stopped for a DUI can no longer refuse to submit to a chemical test. If they do not consent to a breath or a blood test, the police officer may force them to give a blood sample, pursuant to Nevada law. But, being convicted for a third Nevada DUI offense may not be as harsh as it has been in the past in Nevada. Although the consequences of a Nevada DUI conviction are quite serious, alternative sentencing when dealing with drunk driving convictions is now a reality in Nevada.

Being Convicted for a Third Nevada DUI Offense

Nevada DUI law has treated a third-time DUI conviction as a felony, punishable by one to six years in prison. However, a law was passed in July 2007 that gives convicted DUI offenders the option of seeking help with alcohol dependence instead of being incarcerated. Under the new legislation, an individual can have their sentence deferred for five years, while demonstrating compliance with conditions for probation. Those who agree to enter substance abuse treatment for five years must also agree to six months of house arrest, being subjected to random searches for alcohol and installing an ignition interlock device in all vehicles they operate. The person, who agrees, must also pay for the probation conditions, and if any conditions are violated they could be sent to prison. Senator Valerie Wiener introduced the new bill that allows district judges to authorize an alcohol program for third time DUI offenders who plead guilty or no-contest to their DUI charges. This legislation reinstates the practice of alternative sentencing after the district attorney ruled that judges do not have the authority to use that power.

New Legislation Allows an Offender to Avoid Prison

The Senator’s Nevada DUI legislation allows an offender to avoid prison if they agree to participation in the treatment program for at least three years. Based on this new Nevada DUI legislation, those who complete the program will have their sentence reduced from a third conviction to a second offense violation. This new legislation would make a big difference to many offenders since a second offense violation would be considered a misdemeanor rather than a felony. If a person were to receive another DUI, the conviction would be treated as a felony and DUI conviction is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Senator Weiner stated that if anyone fails to comply while on the alternative program, they would immediately be sent back to prison.

Another Nevada Legislation Passes

The Nevada assembly also recently passed legislation requiring people arrested for Nevada DUI to stay in jail 12 hours to make sure their blood-alcohol content drops below the legal limit. The person responsible for the bill, Assemblyman Mark Manendo, stated that the reason for the law is to keep people from endangering others while still intoxicated. Though the legal limit for drunk driving in Nevada is .08, Manendo’s proposal calls for holding DUI offenders in jail until their BAC reaches .04. His reasoning stems from the fact that people are being released within hours of a DUI arrest while still having a BAC over twice the legal limit.

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