Las Vegas is a city known for its “let loose” attitude, and this is no exception during the holidays. Times for celebration often proves to be peak DUI time, especially for cases involving alcohol. People will attend parties with their friends, family, or other partygoers, consume a bit too much, and decide to drive home not always realizing that they are above the legal limit, thus creating the possibility of a DUI charge.
Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics in Las Vegas
Recently, during the 4th of July, Las Vegas police had made over 5,000 DUI arrests in the city. Brought on by the summer season and an often celebrated holiday, more motorists were drinking and driving on the roads while trying to get from place to place.
It has also been found that the most DUI related fatalities occur during holiday seasons and weekends, particularly on the highways surrounding the city. Often high rates of speed coupled with alcohol intake levels will combine to cause these events, which many law enforcement officials attempt to curb using DUI checkpoints and heightened patrol.
DUI Checkpoints in Las Vegas during the Holidays
One way that officers attempt to curb holiday drunk drivers is by upping their patrol numbers and setting up DUI checkpoints in and around the city. These checkpoints will often be held on the city’s busiest roads that are most prone to drunk drivers, and they prove to be very effective in helping to save lives and make arrests. However, the exact effectiveness of these checkpoints has been in question in recent years with the popularity of smart phone technology and yearning for constant communication. If a checkpoint is found in an area, other motorists will often be warned using apps or tip-offs from a friend, and they will then know to avoid these roads if they have been drinking.
For the most part, however, these checkpoints have proven to be one effective method in curbing holiday drunk driving, particularly when they are paired with heightened police patrols.
DUI Charges in Las Vegas
Many DUI cases in Las Vegas are unintentional, and the person arrested for DUI will not have known that they were above the legal limit. A DUI in the city of Las Vegas is often a somewhat easy mistake to make, and when a person finds themselves in such a situation they should make sure they are aware of their rights, charges, and potential penalties.
For drivers under the age of 21, any blood alcohol level greater than 0.02% is grounds for DUI charges, this percentage jumps to 0.04% for those over 21 holding a commercial license, and 0.08% for standard drivers of a legal drinking age. Meeting or exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit, or BAC, can lead to DUI charges for a driving individual if he or she is arrested while driving on a Las Vegas road.
There are two distinct laws that surround DUI cases in Las Vegas and these laws are the illegal per se law and the implied consent law. The illegal per se law means that driving with a blood alcohol content level at or above the legal limit is an offense, but because these levels are only used as a guideline in DUI cases, a person could potentially find themselves facing charges for having a slightly lower limit if conditions call for it. The implied consent law refers to blood alcohol testing, and this law means that if a blood alcohol test is requested by an officer or other official, the driver must give consent. The simple act of driving the car after drinking any amount of alcohol “implies” that the driver “consents” to a future DUI test, whether the testing occurs or not.
Drivers charged with DUI will face two separate sets of penalties for their actions, one administrative and the other criminal. Court penalties are considered to be criminal consequences, while penalties imposed by the DMV are considered administrative consequences, with both penalties needing to be met before a person can move on from their charge.
For a first time DUI case in the city of Las Vegas, a person will often receive $121.75 in fees in order to regain their license through administrative penalties as well as a license revocation of 90 days and the need to retake certain driving tests. The criminal penalties given in first time DUI cases will typically include a jail sentence of a minimum of 2 days, community service, fines from $400-$1000 depending on the circumstances of the case, attendance at a DUI school and what’s known as a “victim impact panel, and possible time spent in an alcohol treatment program. While these penalties are for a person facing first time DUI charges, they will become harsher with each new conviction.
The importance of a DUI lawyer should never be understated in cases of individuals facing DUI charges. Particularly if a person has past DUI convictions, the representation of a skilled lawyer who specializes in drunken driving cases can lead to a person having their DUI dismissed, getting more reasonable penalties, or lesser charges.