What to Know About Nevada's New DUI Law
In most states, after you receive a DUI but before your court date, you are occasionally allowed to drive for about 30 days after the arrest, pending trial. Sometimes, in extreme cases, such as felony DUI, a temporary license won't be issued. But for the most part, you are innocent until proven guilty. But not in Nevada. Starting October 1, the state changed its DUI laws, requiring an interlock device after arrest.
"Y" Means No
Nevada's new laws require the DMV to mark your license with a "Y" in its database after you've received a DUI. This mark means that you are not allowed to drive your car without an interlock device on your motor vehicle (car or motorcycle), even if you have yet to go to trial.
Public policy brought this law into being -- it appeared those that drove impaired tended to be repeat offenders, even before a trial date. Requiring the device after arrest, rather than after conviction, will hopefully cut down on those repeated, and often deadly, offenses. According to Andrew Bennett, of the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety, "Impairment is something that continues to plague our state. That's why we wanted another tool in our tool bag, but it's a message to our community that we are taking this seriously and we are expanding our programs to prevent this from happening." Indeed, in Nevada, one third of the traffic accidents last year involved impairment, and this number is expected to raise with the increase in marijuana use.
Enforcement Will Be Strict
Before you start thinking how can I get around this device, it may just be easier to acquiesce. There is little hardship involved in installing and using the device; it can be installed in any motor vehicle and using it is simple and only takes a few seconds.
The device will not allow the car to start until the driver blows into the mouthpiece and no alcohol is detected. Before you start thinking that you'll just have a sober friend blow for you, you may want to reconsider. The device includes a camera to make sure the person driving is the person blowing. And don't think you just need to start the road trip sober, and pack some roadies; the device asks for random retests during the drive to keep this from happening. And forget about renting a car to circumvent the issue because of that handy dandy new "Y" on your DMV record.
Driving under the influence, be it alcohol or drugs, is a major offense that shouldn't be taken lightly. You don't have to go it alone. A DUI lawyer can be there from the beginning to the conclusion of your case. If you've been charged with a DUI, you are best served by consulting with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
- Find a DUI Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- Study: Strict Ignition Interlock Laws Linked to Fewer Drunk Driving Deaths (FindLaw Blotter)
- DUI Penalties: Everything You Need to Know About Ignition Interlock Devices (FindLaw Blotter)
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