Administrative License Suspension in Las Vegas

After a DUI arrest in Las Vegas or Clark County, Nevada, you must act quickly to protect your driver’s license from an administrative suspension that will occur automatically unless you have the suspension stayed. If you win the administrative hearing, then your driver’s license will be returned to you pending the resolution of the criminal case.

Important: After a DUI arrest in the State of Nevada, where a breath test was conducted, you only have seven (7) days to request a DMV hearing to protect your license from being revoked or suspended. Because of the complexities involved in contesting the suspension, it is beneficial for a DUI lawyer to file the request and represent you at this administrative hearing.

Under Nevada law, administrative driver’s license proceedings are considered to be “civil in nature, not criminal.” Consequently, the objective of such a proceeding is not to punish the licensee; rather, the goal is to protect the public from irresponsible and dangerous drivers. Regardless of the goal, any revocation can have a tremendous impact on the person arrested for DUI.

Las Vegas DUI License Suspension Attorney


No downside exists to requesting the administrative hearing to contest the administrative suspension. At the hearing, your attorney will have an opportunity to make arguments that the documents submitted are not sufficient and cross-examine the witnesses against you, typically the arresting officer. Often important defenses are developed during the hearing that can ultimately be used to fight the criminal portion of the case to help you avoid a conviction.

Period of Suspension under Nevada Law Depends on the Number and Timing of Prior Offenses

  • First DUI – If you lose your administrative hearing or are convicted of a first DUI, then your driver’s license will be revoked for three months (90 days) for a first offense of DUI. A person arrested for a first time DUI may be entitled to a restricted driver’s license after the first forty-five (45) days have passed.
  • Second DUI – For a second offense of DUI conviction within a seven-year period, your driving privileges will be suspended for a period of one year.
  • Third or Subsequent DUI – For a third offense of DUI conviction within a seven year period, your driving privileges will be suspended for a period of three years.

Scope of Review at the Nevada DUI Administrative Hearing

The scope of review during a driver’s license revocation hearing is limited to three issues:

  1. Whether the person failed to submit to an evidentiary test;
  2. Whether a person’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit at the time of the test; and
  3. Whether the DUI officer who ordered an evidentiary test had reasonable grounds, at the time she ordered the test, to believe the person had been driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated.

The courts have carved out a unique posture towards administrative driver’s license revocation proceedings because under Nevada law, such proceedings are considered to be civil in nature, not criminal. Consequently, the burden of proof is placed on the licensee and not on the state to prove that you were not driving while intoxicated.

Driving privileges are subject to summary revocation if suspects refuse to submit to required testing or if testing reveals alcohol or controlled substances in the bloodstream in excess of legal limits. The DUI suspects may challenge this revocation in a hearing before the DMV. The determination of the DMV may be appealed to the district court and ultimately the Supreme Court of Nevada.

Seizure of the Driver’s License in Nevada After a DUI Arrest

Nevada Revised Statutes, Section 484C.220 addresses the “seizure of a driver’s license or permit after an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;” “the order of revocation” and the” process of administrative and judicial review.”

After an arrest for DUI, if you submit to a breath test and blow a .08 or over or if you have a detectable amount of a prohibited substance in your blood or urine, then the officer will seize your driver’s license and serve you with an order of revocation of the license.

Typically a blood or breath test is conducted to determine if a person is above the legal limit. If a breath test is conducted and you are above the legal limit, the officer will take your license and give you a paper temporary license that is only good for 7 days before your license is suspended. By requesting a stay and picking up a temporary license you can drive normally until the hearing is concluded.

If you have had a blood test then the officer will give you your license back and wait for the results of the blood test. In Las Vegas, the results from the blood test take 4 to 6 months to come back. Once the officer receives the results back, he will notify the DMV who will then send you a certified letter at your address indicating your license will be suspended in 7 days. If you fail to pick up the certified letter, then your license will still go into suspension and you may be driving on a suspended license which is an additional crime. It is important that you don’t ignore this process as you could be putting your freedom in jeopardy. Having an experienced DUI lawyer is important in making sure you navigate the DMV process properly.

Order of Revocation After a DUI Arrest in Nevada

The officer must tell the driver of his or her right to seek administrative and judicial review of the revocation as provided in Nevada Revised Statutes 484C.230. Furthermore, the driver has the right to request a temporary license. If the driver is eligible, then the officer should issue the temporary license on a form approved by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles which is effective for only 7 days including the date of issuance.

The officer will then send the seized driver’s license or permit to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles along with the written certificate. After the officer serves the order of revocation of the driver’s license, then the officer must prepare and transmit to the DMV the following:

  1. The seized license or permit;
  2. A copy of the result of the test;
  3. A written certificate that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle with a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath or with a detectable amount of a prohibited substance in his blood or urine as determined by a chemical test; and
  4. The written certificate must also state whether the officer served an order of revocation on the person and whether the officer issued the person a temporary driver’s license.

The Nevada DMV Issues Order Revoking the Driver’s License

When the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles receives the certificate which indicates that the order of revocation was not served on the driver, then the DMV will issue an order revoking the driver’s license. The DMV will also mail a copy of that order to the person’s address on his license.

The order from the DMV must contain the following:

  1. The grounds for revocation;
  2. The time period during which the person is not eligible for a license permit or privilege to drive; and
  3. Directions that the person has a right to administrative and judicial review of the revocation;
  4. Directions that the person has a right to request a temporary driver’s license.

The order from the DMV becomes effective five (5) days after it is mailed to the driver’s last known address. The date of mailing can be proved by the certificate of any DMV employee which certifies the time of mailing the notice. Nevada law “presumes” that the driver received the notice upon the expiration of the five (5) days after it is placed in the United States mail, postage prepaid.

Resources

Nevada DMV’s Office of Administrative Hearings – Administrative hearings after a DUI arrest in the greater Las Vegas area are held at the DMV’s Office of Administrative Hearings on Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas, Clark County, NV.

DMV’s Office of Administrative Hearings
2701 E. Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Phone: (702) 486-4940

Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Nevada DMV Administrative License Suspension Hearings

After a DUI arrest in the State of Nevada, you only have seven (7) days to request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. At the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, we fight that administrative suspension aggressively. Las Vegas DUI lawyer Joel Mann is experienced at representing DUI suspects at the DMV administrative license suspension hearing in Nevada. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss steps you need to take today to protect your driver’s license.