This article is not intended as advice for your specific matter. Rather, it is a general article about Nevada law. If you have questions about your particular case, please call Mueller, Hinds and Associates, Chtd. immediately at (702) 940-1234. This information is valid as of July 24, 2017.
What is Extreme Driving Under the Influence in Nevada?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a misnomer in Nevada because the crime does not necessarily and literally involve driving. A person does not have to be driving or even impaired to be convicted of DUI. Courts have held that “actual physical control,” the necessary element to prove DUI, can be proven even when the driver is asleep as long as there are some signs he was driving under the influence or is in control of the vehicle.
There is a special category of DUI crimes that involve BAC over .18. First time DUIs are generally treated the same as long as no one was injured and the BAC was less than .18. However in cases where the BAC exceeds .18, a number of additional consequences become possible. In addition to the general penalties of a first time DUI – DUI class, victim impact panel, a fine between $685 and $800, and sometimes the coroner's program – a person convicted of DUI involving a BAC over .18 is exposed to an alcohol and drug dependency evaluation.
An alcohol and drug dependency evaluation occurs when the person goes to an “evaluation center.” Section 484C.050 of the NRS defines an evaluation center as a facility approved by State of Nevada to provide an evaluation to determine if the offender is an abuser of alcohol or another drug.
In practice this means that the Court finds you had a BAC over .18, after you are found guilty or plead guilty, then you will be referred to one of these court and State approved facilities for an evaluation. Pending that evaluation, your sentencing hearing will be suspended until the report from that evaluation comes back. The evaluation typically has a diagnosis and recommendations attached. Those recommendations can range from requiring alcoholics anonymous meetings for a period of time, additional classes, a SCRAM bracelet to confirm abstinence from alcohol and a breath interlock device installed on your vehicle to prevent further DUI.
The key is to hire a lawyer that can help avoid this mess by either beating the case at trial, negotiating the case to a non-DUI charge or negotiating the charge to eliminate the need for this evaluation.
Are you or a loved one charged with extreme DUI? Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Mueller Hinds & Associates for a free consultation.