If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the most important step to take is to reach out to an experienced attorney.

DUI charges could result in jail time, fines, and license suspension, but an effective defense in court can help to combat these penalties and the consequences on your criminal record. Attorney Richard P. Davies has been practicing law for nearly 20 years, and he leads an approachable and energetic team of attorneys prepared to fight for mitigated or even dismissed charges on your behalf.


What constitutes a DUI offense?

In Nevada, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more within 2 hours of driving (referred to as a “per se” DUI) or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol such that they are impaired to a degree that they cannot safely drive. Note that the BAC threshold is lowered for commercial drivers to .04% or more and for drivers under the age of 21 to .02% or more.

Be aware that it is illegal not only to drive or operate a car while under the influence, but it is also illegal to merely be in “actual physical control” of a car while under the influence. This means the vehicle does not need to be in motion to constitute a DUI charge.

What does "actual physical control" of a car mean?

Factors a judge or jury may consider when determining whether an intoxicated driver was in actual physical control of a vehicle include:

  • Whether the vehicle was running
  • Where the ignition key was located
  • Where and in what position the driver was found in the vehicle
  • Whether the driver was asleep or awake
  • Whether the vehicle's headlights were on
  • Whether the vehicle was on public or private property
  • Whether the vehicle was stopped in the road or legally parked

What is the "sleeping it off" defense?

Under the “sleeping it off” defense, a driver is not considered to be in actual physical control of a vehicle if all of the following apply:

  • The driver was asleep in the car.
  • The driver was not located in the driver's seat.
  • The engine of the car was not running.
  • The car was legally parked.
  • The driver could not have driven the car to where it was found while under the influence.

What are the penalties and potential sentences for a DUI?

The penalties for DUI in Nevada depend on the severity of the case and how many prior convictions the defendant has, if any at all:

1ˢᵗ Offense

  • Up to 180 days in jail (2 day mandatory minimum)
  • At least $400 in fines
  • At least 185 days of license revocation
  • 185 days of Interlock Ignition Device (IID) use if BAC is less than 0.18%
  • 1-3 years of IID use if BAC is more than 0.18%

2ⁿᵈ Offense:

  • Up to 180 days in jail (10 day mandatory minimum served in jail or home confinement)
  • At least $750 in fines
  • 1 year of license revocation
  • 185 days of Interlock Ignition Device (IID) use if BAC is less than 0.18%
  • 1-3 years of IID use if BAC is more than 0.18%

3ʳᵈ Offense:

  • 1-6 years in prison
  • At least $2,000 in fines
  • 3 years of license revocation
  • 1-3 years of IID use

Defendants could also face further periods of license suspension if they violate Nevada’s implied consent laws.

What are Nevada's implied consent laws?

These laws specify that all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI are required to submit to a blood, urine, or breath test.

Refusal will result in an additional 1 year of license revocation for a 1ˢᵗ offense or 3 years for a 2ⁿᵈ or subsequent offense.

For the purposes of determining subsequent refusals, all prior DUI convictions, refusals, and failed BAC tests (showed a BAC of .08% or greater) within the past 7 years are counted.

Time is of the essence in DUI cases, and it is critical that the first thing you do after arrest is contact an experienced attorney. We can take a look at your situation and help you craft a unique defense against your DUI charges, whether this is your first or a subsequent charge. The sooner you reach out to us, the more available evidence we have to work to your advantage.

Have questions about your case? Looking for an experienced Reno attorney to take charge? Call now to schedule your consultation at (775) 360-6894.

Contact Richard P. Davies, Esq. 

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