DUI (driving under the influence) charges are not limited to alcohol. They can also result from using illegal drugs, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications. Being convicted of a DUI drug charge can have serious consequences, including fines, loss of driving privileges, and even imprisonment. If you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Nevada, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to understand your rights and seek the best legal outcome.
Nevada state law (NRS 484C.110) defines DUI drug charges as the act of driving, operating, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access while under the influence of a controlled substance or any other substance that renders the person incapable of safely driving. Controlled substances include illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, as well as legal prescription medications such as painkillers and anti-anxiety medications.
It is essential to note that, unlike alcohol-related DUI cases where a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is considered over the legal limit, Nevada does not have a similar “legal limit” for the concentration of drugs in a person’s system. Instead, the law considers whether the drug impairs the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.
Penalties for DUI Drug Charges in Nevada
The penalties for DUI drug charges follow a similar structure to those for alcohol-related DUI offenses. However, the specific penalties can vary depending on several factors, including the nature and amount of the drug involved, prior DUI convictions, and the presence and severity of aggravating factors such as injury, death, or property damage.
For a first-time DUI drug offense, the possible penalties can include the following:
- Fines ranging from $400 to $1,000
- Two days to 6 months in jail or 24 to 96 hours of community service
- DUI school and attendance at a Victim Impact Panel
- 185-day driver’s license revocation with a possibility of obtaining a restricted license after 90 days
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for six months following the reinstatement of driving privileges
Subsequent DUI drug convictions within seven years will increase penalties, including higher fines, longer jail time, extended loss of driving privileges, and longer IID requirements.
Defending Against DUI Drug Charges in Nevada
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help fight DUI drug charges by examining the circumstances surrounding your arrest, determining whether your rights were violated, and challenging the admissibility of any evidence against you. Potential defense strategies can include questioning the drug test’s validity, challenging the traffic stop’s legality, and arguing that the drugs did not impair your driving ability.
If you face DUI drug charges in Nevada, do not take the situation lightly. It is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who can help navigate the complexities of Nevada DUI drug laws and protect your rights. The stakes are high, and the right legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Call Richard P. Davies and his team of experienced lawyers at (775) 360-6894 or send an email to schedule a free consultation to discuss your best options.