Las Vegas is a popular destination to celebrate the New Year, both for residents and tourists across the globe. In fact, roughly 300,000 visitors joined the celebration recently. With the increased amount of people consuming alcohol, police in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County were out in force over the holiday weekend. Last year, roughly 80 people were arrested in the area for driving under the influence (DUI) in the area. This year the number rose to about 100, due in part to the increased presence of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies in Henderson and Boulder City.
Tactics employed by Clark County law enforcement included the placement of several DUI vans across the valley. These vans helped expedite the processing of suspected drunk drivers before they were sent to jail during the busy holiday weekend. No DUI checkpoints were used during New Years this year, though there was heightened patrol presence by police, particularly in the Las Vegas Strip and downtown areas on December 31st.
First time offenders who were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs this weekend are facing Nevada’s less than lenient DUI laws. For a first DUI with blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher, a person can find themselves facing:
- Between 48 hours and 6 months in jail;
- Between $400 and $1,000 in fines;
- 90 days driver’s license suspension;
- DUI school completion; and / or
- Alcohol treatment.
Penalties for a first DUI increase if there was serious bodily injury or death involved, or the BAC was 0.15% or higher.
However, it’s critical to remember that an arrest for DUI does not mean that conviction will necessarily follow, even if the alleged offender fails the blood or breathalyzer test. Science is not infallible and the results from chemical tests can be skewed due to poor testing machine maintenance, improper testing procedure, certain medical conditions, and other factors. An experienced Las Vegas DUI lawyer understands this and does not settle for the easiest outcome. Depending on the circumstances of a person’s case, there are many defense options to DUI that can be pursued, including case dismissal, and motion to suppress or exclude evidence.