You’ve done something stupid that you know you shouldn’t have done. You have driven under the influence of alcohol (Chapter 484C),and now you are about to lose your license. At this point, you have only one thought in mind: How long can I continue to drive? When will my DUI suspension start?
There is no quick answer to this question. A number of different factors will come into play in determining the length of your grace period, if indeed you get one at all.
DUI and Mandatory License Suspension
Anyone arrested for driving under the influence in Nevada must by law submit to a breath, blood or urine test. If any of these reveal incriminating levels of alcohol or another forbidden substance, a license revocation is almost certain. How long it takes to lose it, though, will vary according to the type of involved.
For example, if a blood test proved your guilt, the revocation could take months. On the other hand, if you have failed a Breathalyzer test, the arresting officer can revoke your license on the spot as you await your booking. Refusal to take the test will earn you a suspension as well.
It takes just one DUI infraction to trigger a suspension. Nevertheless, unless you’ve failed a breath test, the state of Nevada must provide you with a chance to plead your case in an administrative hearing. This is where a good criminal defense attorney becomes essential. To keep you from losing your license, he will try to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.
DUI License Suspension in Nevada
In Nevada, a license suspension for DUI is mandatory. Its duration, however, will vary according to the number of times you’ve already been caught driving in that condition. For example:
- A first offense for DUI in Nevada will result in a 90-day administrative license suspension courtesy of the DMV, but after 45 days, you may apply for and possibly obtain a restricted hardship license.
- In the case of a second DUI conviction within seven years, the law comes down even harder, suspending your license for an entire year.
- Anyone receiving a third DUI within a seven-year time frame will be off the road far longer once the obligatory three-year revocation officially kicks in.
Your Nevada DUI: The DMV Versus the Courts
DUI in Nevada is a serious matter for which license revocation is mandatory. In many cases, the arrest alone will do it, and the offender cannot count on a subsequent “not-guilty” finding in a court of law to override the suspension.
That’s because Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles has the sole responsibility for issuing all DUI license revocations. Unless a failed breath test has forced an immediate suspension, however, the DMV must inform the motorist ahead of time concerning the official start date. This provides a chance to obtain legal assistance and contest the finding at a DMV hearing. During this time, it is legally possible to continue driving.
Your Nevada DUI Suspension Hearing
In Nevada, a DMV hearing in many ways resembles a court trial. Your criminal defense lawyer can present evidence and question witnesses on your behalf. However, in this type of hearing, the burden of proof sits at a far lower level than would normally exist in a court of law, making it quite a bit harder for any defendant to win.
To circumvent Nevada’s mandatory DUI license revocation, a good defense lawyer will often aim to have the charge reduced to the lower offense of reckless driving. Although this will add eight demerit points to your license and keep them there for a one-year period, it does have the benefit of preserving your freedom to drive.
If you win your DMV hearing, the state will permit you to retain your license. On the other hand, if you lose, the DMV will notify you as to the start and end dates of your upcoming suspension.
Getting Your License Back
After a revocation, the DMV does not automatically reinstate your driving rights. Either you or your attorney must apply for them. This will entail contacting the DMV and filling out all necessary paperwork. If your suspension has lasted for a year or more, you must also submit to a test of your driving skills along with a possible vision or written test. These procedures are mandatory even if you are subsequently cleared of all criminal charges.
Help in Fighting Your Nevada DUI
In Nevada, an arrest for driving under the influence is never a laughing matter. If you are facing the loss of your license for DUI, the DUI attorneys at Weiner Law Group can help. Call us today at 702-202-0500 and we will do everything within our power to assist you in retaining your driving privileges.