The Cost of Driving Drunk in the State of Nevada
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very dangerous situation and one the state of Nevada takes very seriously. All of the cities in Nevada have the same laws when it comes to drunk driving including Reno, Carson City, Las Vegas, and Henderson – those with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) at or above 0.08 percent are considered to be driving impaired. The penalties for this type of crime are also very serious and the costs associated with them can leave someone in financial ruin from a DUI in Nevada.
What Penalties Do First Time Offenders Face in the State of Nevada?
Every state has its own set of penalties when it comes to drinking and driving, but they usually all include some length of a license suspension, possible jail time, and monetary fines. For the state of Nevada, first time offenders convicted of DUI will face the penalties outlined below:
- 2 Days to 6 Months in Jail
- Fines of Between $400 and $1,000
- A License Suspension of 90 Days
- Possible Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirement
The state of Nevada is currently following a seven-year lookback period – this means if the offender has a previous drinking and driving offense within the last seven years of his or her current offense, he or she will be graduated to a repeat offender status depending on the specific circumstances. Repeat offenders will face harsher penalties than first time offenders. Second time DUI offenders will face fines between $750 and $1,000 and third time offenders will have to pay fines between $2,000 and $5,000.
Can a DUI Cost Me Before I Am Convicted?
The financial repercussions of being cited for Driving Under the Influence begin before the offender even has his or her first appearance in court. When a drunk driving traffic stop occurs and the individual is taken into custody, it is likely his or her car will be towed to the local impound lot and stored there until it can be picked up. The officer may allow someone else to pick up the vehicle, but if he or she does not, the offender will be responsible for paying the fees to have the vehicle released.
In some cases, the driver will be booked into the local jail and held with bail – this usually occurs when there are aggravated circumstances associated with the incident and/or the arrest, like having a minor present in the vehicle, an accident occurring, or if the individual is unruly during the arrest process. Bail for DUI offenses usually runs between $500 and $5,000 and this may cause the arrested to seek the help of friend or even a bail bondsman.
Once a formal charge has been brought against the offender, he or she will receive a date to appear in court. Before this first court date, it is advised to contact a DUI lawyer to help try the case. Every lawyer and/or law firm will have a different approach when it comes to charging clients for legal services, usually an hourly rate, one-time fee, or payment plan. For a good DUI lawyer in the state of Nevada, the fees for services will range between $1,000 and $10,000, if not more.
What Will a DUI Cost Me After I am Convicted?
If the case does not go in the offender’s favor and he or she is found guilty of the Driving Under the Influence charge, he or she will then have to face the fines and penalties the state of Nevada outlines. As mentioned, first time offenders of DUI will have to pay fines between $400 and $1,000, second time offenders between $750 and $1,000, and third time offenders between $2,000 and $5,000.
It is important to note that although these are the fines for Nevada, all states will have different fine amounts set for those who are found guilty of DUI.
In addition to monetary fines the offender will be responsible for paying, he or she will also have to face changes to car insurance rates. Since drinking and driving is a very risky driving behavior, the insurance company will very likely raise the individual’s rates in order to cover the increased likelihood the policy holder will have to make a claim at some point. While it is almost certain the car insurance rate will increase, how much the increase will be is dependent on the individual insurance company and the mathematical formula it uses to calculate insurance increases for DUI.
Luckily, the car insurance agencies in the state of Nevada are relatively lenient when it comes to penalizing those who have been convicted of DUI. On average, a DUI offender will see car insurance rates increase by about 55 percent, which will generally add a total of $80 to the monthly payment. While this may seem like a lot, this is much less than some other states which increase insurance rates by 80, 90, or even over 100 percent. As mentioned, this is just the average increase a DUI offender in the state of Nevada will see – all insurance agencies will handle this differently.
How Can I Avoid the Financial Repercussions of DUI?
After the offender has paid all fines and penalties for a DUI arrest and conviction, it is possible to have paid as much as $40,000 for something that could have been easily avoided. It is important to know this figure only includes the fees outlined above and does not include lost wages, the cost of installing an Ignition Interlock Device if it is required, or the cost of using public transportation during the person’s license suspension. The best way to avoid the financial repercussions of DUI is to not drink and drive – always drink responsibly, appoint a designated driver, or use public transportation.
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