Driver's License revocation
2019 update on revocation and Breath interlock devices:
Starting in October, Nevada’s updated breath interlock law went into effect. Nevada is the latest in a growing trend of states that now require anyone arrested or convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device on their ignition in order to reinstate driving privileges. This device measures the amount of alcohol on the breath of the driver and, when it detects the presence of alcohol, the vehicle will not start.
In addition to measuring alcohol content on the driver’s breath, these devices have a camera that takes a picture of who is blowing into the mouthpiece to confirm it is, in fact, the driver. The device will also take periodic checks of the driver’s breath to ensure that the driver is not drinking while driving. While it won’t stop the vehicle if the driver fails the underway test, it does keep a log of these tests to upload periodically for review.
When are breath interlock devices mandatory?
Before the law went into effect in October, Nevada judges had the discretion to order the installation of interlock devices. Now, they are mandatory for anyone convicted of:
- Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher,
- A felony DUI,
- A vehicular homicide, or
- Drunk driving that results in serious bodily injury or death.
Defendants will be required to pay for the installation of the device themselves. However, the law does provide for lower-cost devices to be available to those whose income is at or below the Federal poverty level. Depending on the situation, the length of time someone is required to have the device installed ranges from six months to three years. In most cases, they will have to re-visit the service center every 90 days to have the device checked and to have the log of breath tests downloaded and reviewed.
Are there any exceptions?
There is also the possibility, for first time offenders, of not having to install an interlock device. There are a handful of special circumstances an experienced DUI attorney can plead that may remove the requirement of installing the device. However, statistics have shown in other states that requiring the installation of these devices has lowered drinking-related accidents dramatically, so courts are unlikely to be lenient in this regard. For example, one possible exception is if the individual lives more than 100 miles away from an approved service. Based on the distance, getting the device installed and serviced would present a hardship.
In addition to changes in the law, DUI prosecution is often complicated by poorly collected evidence, other legitimate substances in your system, and even mistakes on the part of the police.
A revoked license (sometimes called suspended) is when the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) cancels a person's driving privileges. It’s important to understand that the DMV fight to keep your license is a distinct and separate hearing from the DUI case. The only thing at stake at the DMV hearing is your license. A first DUI carries a revocation of 90 days, a second DUI within seven years results in a one year revocation, and a third within seven years results in a 3 year revocation. Note, these periods are going to increase in October 2018.
DUI License Revocations
There are many grounds for revocation. The focus of this article is on the mandatory revocation for a DUI.
DUIs within 7 Years
Period of Revocation
90 days, restricted license available after 45 days. October 1, 2018, the period will increase to 185 days
Second DUI (within 7 years)
Third DUI (within 7 years) and DUI causing bodily injury or death
3 years, restricted license after 1 year
Driving on a revoced license due to DUI in Nevada is a bad move. If caught, the driver can be facing a flat 30 days in jail above and beyond the outcome of any DUI proceedings. It’s not worth it.
WHERE CAN I GO ON A RESTRICTED LICENSE?
Usually restricted licenses are limited to:
- Doctors’ visits,
- Grocery shopping, and/or
- and other reasonable and necessary purposes as specifically describe on the license.
Fighting a Driver’s License Suspension in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, Nevada Jurisdictions
Notice of revocation may come upon release from jail, or later by registered mail from the DMV. In either case if you wish to have a DMV administrative hearing you must request it within 7 days. Once the hearing is set you will keep your license pending the final outcome, usually several months later. If you took a blood test the suspension will always come much later than with breathalyzer results.
Is it worth it to fight the DMV? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The standard of proof at the DMV is dramatically lower than in Criminal court because it is a civil proceedings. Many attorneys will gladly collect a fee to make this fight, however you should talk to an attorney that is willing to honestly tell you what your chances are based on your case facts. Be wary of any attorney that promises an outcome in any case. Even as an aggressive defense attorney sometimes we have to tell clients what the real odds are.
That being said, it is possible to win at the DMV. If successful the driver keeps his or her license and may continue driving.
WHAT HAPPENS TO OUT OF STATE DRIVERS?
In Las Vegas many people accused of DUI are visiting or have licenses from different states. All 50 states have agreed to share information and this could result in a suspension from the out of state DMV. Sometimes this actually happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Non-Nevada residents arrested for DUI should consult with an attorney in their home state regarding their license.
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