The Electric Daisy Carnival, one of the most well-attended electronic music festivals in the world, will be at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway later this month from June 20 to June 22. The festival has a reputation as a free-wheeling event where narcotics are permitted. This is not the case.
The festival posts security guards at the doors who search people entering, and attendees should be very careful what they say to these guards. The security guards are not required to advise festival goers of their rights, and will turn people over to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Once turned over a person may face charges for drug possession, possession with intent to sell or any other relevant charge. In addition to Electric Daisy Carnival security, undercover police officers are inside the festival and are looking to arrest people, as well.
However, many people who are arrested in Las Vegas during EDC weekend are not apprehended on the grounds of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. They, instead, may be stopped on the road to and from the festival, or at one of the many parties that occur at hotels and around the area.
There are about 15 miles between the EDC grounds and the Vegas Strip, where many attendees stay. Many will drive to and from the festival. Along the way, on both North Las Vegas Boulevard and the Las Vegas Freeway (I-15), the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Highway Patrol are likely to be posted and on the lookout for intoxicated drivers.
To pull a person over, police must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is intoxicated or committing a crime. Speeding, driving slowly, weaving between lanes or driving recklessly may give officers cause to stop a person. Once stopped, the officer must develop probable cause in order to arrest you on the charge of DUI or any other crime. Typically an officer will ask a driver to perform standardized field sobriety tests or SFST to determine if the officer can establish probable cause for more specific testing. If the officer believes you have failed the SFSTs or has other probable cause, he will then take you to have a blood or breath tests administered to gather evidence of your intoxication. The officer will ask that you consent to a blood or breath test, he will try and scare and threaten you. It is important that you do not consent to a blood or breath test. You instruct the officer, nicely, but clearly, that you require that the officer get a warrant for any test. Do not sign any sort of consent document.
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, including prescription drugs. These tests are designed to determine whether any such substances are in the system of the driver. If you are asked to take a test, it is your right to refuse. In Nevada, currently, there are no consequences for your refusal. By requiring the Officer to get a warrant you avoid handing over critical evidence to prosecutors. Your Las Vegas DUI defense lawyer can seek to have charges dismissed and assist you with any DMV issues that may arise.
If police pull a person over on suspicion of DUI and finds illegal drugs or illegal weapons in the car, the driver may face charges for that.
Additionally, there are many parties that happen in and around Las Vegas during the Electric Daisy Carnival and in the week leading up to it – the week has been dubbed “EDC Week” due to its popularity. There are parties at nightclubs, hotels and at pools. Like at the festival, security guards are often on hand to pat down and check bags for these parties. If they find illegal substances, they will likely detain the person and turn them over to Las Vegas police. Possessing even a little bit of any drug, other than marijuana, is a felony. If you possess a larger quantity of drugs you could be looking at a felony that would be mandatory prison or even a life sentence.
Security guards and, sometimes, undercover officers may also be inside the party. They may detain or arrest people for indecent exposure, lewd conduct, drug use or any other charge. A significant portion of arrests occur with people taking drugs in the bathroom of the clubs or pools. So be aware of anyone watching or listening to what you do.
There are many opportunities for revelers during EDC Week and the Electric Daisy Carnival to find themselves in legal trouble. They should always be aware of their rights — most importantly, their right to a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who will represent and advise them.