Ignition interlock devices (IID) prevent individuals from driving under the influence (DUI). They’re typically required in cases where an individual has been charged with a DUI and must use an ignition interlock device to meet the requirements of the court for a designated period.
The device prevents ignition of your car’s engine when it issues a reading that exceeds a specific concentration level. Ignition interlock devices work by interrupting the ignition signal and preventing the starter from activating. The device will allow your vehicle to start only when the appropriate breath sample has been administered.
Understanding the Law for Ignition Interlock Devices
Individuals in Las Vegas, who are convicted of a DUI, can be ordered to install an IID in their automobiles according to the DUI penalties of the state of Nevada. The use of an ignition interlock device is mandatory under state law when an individual is caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .18 or more.
Mandatory IID use is also required in the case of a felony DUI. This occurs when an individual has already received two or more previous DUI’s, has caused harm or death to another person, or has already been convicted of a single felony DUI.
Convictions of vehicular homicide also require the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
Las Vegas residents who are ordered to use an IID must cover the cost themselves. Any tampering with the device, or failing to use it, can result in a six-month jail sentence.
Failure to use a court ordered ignition interlock device can result in up to $1,000 in fines. First-time offenders will also receive a three-year suspension of their driver’s license and up to five years for a second offense for defying the court’s order.
Probations and suspended sentences may also be forfeited if an individual refuses to use an IID. In most cases, charges related to the failure of using an ignition interlock device cannot be reduced or dismissed without expert legal counsel.
Charges and Penalties Associated With DUI
The state of Nevada classifies a DUI as a misdemeanor. The penalties are standardized and become more severe if an individual has been convicted of multiple DUIs within a period of seven years.
Prosecution for DUI in Las Vegas depends on a number of factors. The following are the types of evidence that prosecutors must typically provide:
1.The individual exhibited the behavior, speech, and odor of someone who is intoxicated.
2.The individual’s driving was abnormal.
3.The individual failed to perform the field sobriety tests administered to him/her.
4.The individual’s breath or blood test indicated a blood alcohol level (BAC) higher than .08.
Las Vegas court prosecutors must also prove an individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution’s evidence proves unreliable or inconsistent, they may reduce the DUI charge.
Who Can Be Charged with a DUI?
To be charged with a DUI, an individual under the age of 21 must demonstrate a BAC of .02 or higher. Those over the age of 21 must exhibit a BAC equal to or greater than .08. There is no minimum BAC for commercial drivers.
A DUI charge can also be applied in cases where an individual's driving is visibly affected by alcohol even if the BAC is below .08.
Refusing to submit to a BAC test can result in a fine and suspension of your driver’s license due to Nevada’s implied consent law.
DUI Legal Defenses
Consulting with a legal professional provides you with the information you need to fight a DUI arrest charge in Las Vegas.
If you can demonstrate that the officers have made some error, you may be able to challenge your DUI charge successfully. Also, if the reason for the initial traffic stop is deemed invalid, then you may be able to overcome the DUI offense.
If blood or urine samples are taken, keep in mind that the laws regulating these tests are quite strict. As a result, mistakes are commonly made when administering these and can be used as the basis for your defense.
Also, law officers commonly make mistakes when administering field sobriety tests. Breath analyzing machines can present false readings due to things such as acid reflux, diabetes, high protein levels, and dental pockets.
Las Vegas DUI Penalties
The state of Nevada imposes the following penalties for DUI offenses:
- First offense – Individuals can spend up to 6 months in jail and pay fines up to $1,000. Their licenses may be suspended for 90 days, and they may be required to use an ignition interlock device.
- Second offense – Individuals can face up to 6 months in jail with a fine ranging between $750 and $1,000. They may have their licenses suspended for 1 year along with the possible requirement of an IID.
- Third offense – Individuals can face up to 6 years in jail and fines ranging between $2,000 and $5,000. Their licenses can be suspended for up to 3 years, and they’ll be required to use an IID.
Related Offenses and Penalties
If illegal substances such as marijuana or cocaine are detected in the individual’s blood test, the same penalties can be applied.
Drivers who are charged with a DUI while having a child as a passenger can face more severe penalties.
A DUI charge can also be imposed when an individual is controlling motorized vehicles such as a boat, Jet Ski, or others.
Intoxication assault occurs when an individual causes harm to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol. Severe injuries include the loss of a body part, permanent impairment, and disfigurement.
If an intoxicated driver’s actions cause the death of another individual, it can result in a charge of intoxication manslaughter. This is classified as a second-degree felony in Las Vegas.
How We Can Help
If you are facing a DUI in Las Vegas, seek legal recourse immediately. The Law Office of Martin Hart can provide the expert advice regarding possible actions you may be able to take under the law.
Our law office can answer all of your questions and address your concerns. We provide you with a free consultation to evaluate your case and determine the best strategy for your legal defense.
Contact us today at 702-380-4278 to speak with DUI defense attorney Martin Hart.