DUI First Offense in Nevada

After a driving under the influence (“DUI”) arrest, even an individual with no prior record faces stiff criminal penalties if convicted of a first lifetime DUI. Nevada law provides for certain “minimum mandatory” punishments, which the court must impose after a conviction.

Nevada DUI Laws for 1st Offense

Note: Video information is outdated for both videos on this page due to recent changes in Nevada DUI laws. The time your license will be suspended has been increased from 90 days to 185 days. To get a restricted license, you need to install a breath interlock device on your car.

Although the penalties are harsh, it is important to remember that depending on the facts of your case important defenses exist under Nevada law to protect you from a conviction. These protections include the outright dismissal of the charges if insufficient evidence exists to support the accusations or motions to suppress or exclude evidence, which may greatly diminish the prosecutor’s chances for a conviction at trial.

Obtaining an experienced first DUI attorney immediately after the arrest is important because critical deadlines exist to fighting the charges. Contact our office for a free consultation today so that you can learn what you must do immediately to protect yourself after a drunk driving arrest. Your DUI attorney in Las Vegas can help you act quickly to preserve all avenues of attacking this serious criminal charge for a first-time DUI under Nevada law.

Penalties for First Offense DUI

The penalties for driving under the influence depend on whether you have previously been convicted of any DUI offense within the past SEVEN (7) years. The 7-year period is calculated from the prior arrest date to the current arrest date.

NOTE: If you have a prior DUI conviction that falls outside of the seven (7) year period, the prosecutor and court may still consider that prior conviction. However, the maximum sentence and minimum mandatory provisions under Nevada law still remain the same as a first lifetime DUI.

Nevada law provides that when an individual enters a guilty or “no contest” plea, the court must impose the following punishments:

  • Jail: For a first DUI, the court must impose between 48 hours in jail or up to a maximum of six (6) months in jail. Alternatively, the court can impose ninety-six (96) hours of community service in lieu of any jail time.
  • Assessments and Fines: For a first DUI, the court must impose assessments and fines that total a minimum of $400 to a maximum of $1,000.00 plus court costs.
  • Suspension of Driving Privileges: A first DUI conviction requires the DMV to impose a 185 day suspension of your driving privileges. After a 45 day “hard period” has passed during which time you may not drive for any reason, you may be eligible to obtain a restricted driver’s license that allows you to drive for employment purposes for the remainder of the suspension period. To get a restricted license you will need to install a breath interlock device on your car which will test your blood alcohol level every time you drive. If you fail to install that breath interlock device while you have a restrictive license, your license could then be suspended for three years for a first offense, or five years for a second offense or more.
  • DUI School: After a first time DUI conviction, the Court must impose a requirement that you enroll in and complete a state-approved traffic safety program referred to as the eight (8) hour DUI School which costs approximately $150 for the program.
  • Alcohol Treatment: If your DUI arrest involves a breath or blood alcohol concentration result of .08% or more, the court may require you to pay for and complete an alcohol treatment program approved the Health Department of Nevada.
  • Penalties for BAC Over 0.18%: If your first DUI conviction involves a breath or blood alcohol reading that was .18% or higher, then the court will normally impose:
    • A DUI Assessment Program that requires a $100 fee;
    • The Victim Impact Panel that requires a $40.00 fee; and
    • The court may require that you pay for installation and maintenance of the Breath Interlock Devices on your vehicle for twelve to thirty-six months;
    • Even if your breath or blood alcohol concentration was below .18%, the court may order the Breath Interlock Device for 3 months to 6 months.
    • Based on the DUI assessment given in the DUI Assessment Program, the court will impose extensive counseling to address drug or alcohol issues.

Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Nevada DUI Defense Attorney for First Time DUI Arrests

Even a 1st drunk driving arrest can carry harsh penalties. If you’ve been arrested for a first DUI offense in Clark County, Nevada, contact our office at (702) 474-6266 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with Las Vegas DUI attorney, Joel Mann. Find out more about defending your first time DUI offense.