Drunk driving penalties vary significantly among states, which is something important for Nevada residents who enjoy taking road trips into California, Arizona, Oregon and beyond to know.
A recent study ranked states from the most to least lenient when it comes to charges of driving under the influence of intoxicating substances. The rankings factored in things like potential jail sentences, fines and driver's license suspensions. It also looked at factors such as how long convictions stay on offenders' records, if and when those with convictions are required to have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles and whether its required to go complete alcohol abuse counseling. Of course, penalties for subsequent DUI convictions get considerably harsher than those for first offenses.
Nevada came in near the middle of the ranking as the 21st strictest state. The minimum jail sentence for a first-time DUI conviction is two days. That increases to 10 days for a second or subsequent conviction. A third DUI conviction is a felony. Those convicted of DUI can have their drivers' licenses suspended for 90 days.
Too many people don't take a DUI charge seriously, particularly when it's their first one. However, here in Nevada, you can face jail time, fines and temporary loss of your driving privileges. Depending on what you do for a living, it can negatively impact your career.
It should be noted that if you travel to Arizona and get a DUI, the penalties can be even greater. That state was ranked number one for having the strictest DUI laws in the country.
A criminal defense attorney who has experience with drunk driving cases knows how to critically examine and potentially challenge the evidence against you. He or she can also work to mitigate the penalties to reduce the impact of a drunk driving conviction on your life.
Source: NerdWallet, "Strictest And Most Lenient States On DUI," Alina Comoreanu, Aug. 10, 2016