In 2011, Nevada had 70 drunk driving-related fatalities, making up 28% of total traffic deaths that year, according to The Century Council. The state has managed to keep drunk driving relatively low with tough drunk driving laws. However, Nevada could decrease drunk driving even further by requiring all convicted drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock device. All convicted drunk drivers except for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below 0.18 are required to install the device, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which came very close to expanding the law to include all convicted drunk drivers in 2011.
Anyone who operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher in Nevada is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), punishable by a fine, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and DUI School or Substance Abuse Treatment. An offense is considered a repeat offense if it occurs within 7 years of a prior DUI conviction.
- 1st Offense: $400 -$1,000 fine; 2 days to 6 months in jail
- 2nd Offense: $750-$1,000 fine; 10 days to 6 months in jail or of residential confinement
- 3rd and Subsequent Offenses (Felony): $2,000-$5,000 fine; 1 to 6 years in prison
The convicted drunk driver’s license will also be revoked for at least 90 days. The maximum time period depends on prior offenses.
If the offense results in the serious bodily injury of another person, the DUI is elevated to a B Felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in jail and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000. If the offense results in the death of another person, the DUI is elevated to an A Felony, punishable by 25 years to life in jail. If the drunk driver committed the offense while a child under the age of 15 was in the vehicle, the judge will consider this as an aggravating factor that could elevate the DUI to a felony.
Ignition Interlock Laws
Repeat offenders and first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.18 or higher are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for 12 to 36 months. Drunk drivers must also install the device if the offense results in the death or injury of another person. An interlock might be required for first-time offenders with a BAC below 0.18 at the judge’s discretion. In this case, the device must be maintained for 3 to 6 months.