The National Finals Rodeo, called the “super bowl” of rodeo, kicks off Thursday, December 5, and continues until December 14. Held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the event brings in participants, rodeo enthusiasts and spectators from around the world. While in Las Vegas, though, many of these visitors may find themselves the subject of criminal accusations, especially drunk driving.
Under Nevada law, it is illegal for a person to be in actual physical control of a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08. If found with a BAC of .08 or higher within two hours of having actual physical control of a vehicle, you may also be charged with a DUI.
A first DUI in Nevada is a misdemeanor. It carries a presumptive sentence of at least two days in jail, with a maximum of six months. There may be a fee of $400 to $1,200, and your license could be suspended for 90 days. The Nevada DMV will report your conviction to the appropriate governmental body in your state, and your state may take action against you, like suspending your license.
Like in any other state, you have the right to refuse a DUI test in Nevada, unless police obtain a warrant. Denying a DUI test deprives the prosecution critical evidence against you. However, there may be consequences in your state if Nevada reports the matter.
If you are an out-of-state visitor who is arrested for DUI during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, it is important not to assume that you can go home and forget about it. If you ignore the charges, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. The open warrant may turn up in background searches, and it’s even possible for Nevada to seek for you to be extradited back to Las Vegas, a difficult, time-consuming and expensive procedure.
You can hire a Las Vegas DUI lawyer to handle your case. Your attorney can represent you in courts in Clark County. It’s possible that you will not have to travel back to Las Vegas. He can seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed, challenging your arrest and calling into question any DUI tests or other evidence against you. While there are no guarantees, your lawyer will work diligently to fight for your rights and seek the best possible result.
If you are attending the National Finals Rodeo this week, enjoy Las Vegas. Call a cab if you are drinking, or have a designated driver. But if you are accused of drunk driving, know your rights, especially the right to have qualified counsel on your side.