When it comes to DUI offenses, there are plenty of myths and misconceptions that can lead to confusion and unnecessary stress. In Nevada, understanding the truth behind these prevalent misconceptions is crucial for anyone facing a DUI charge.
This article aims to demystify common DUI myths, providing accurate information that can help individuals make informed decisions about their legal situations. From the accuracy of breathalyzers to the reliability of blood tests, we’ll separate fact from fiction and ensure that you have a clear understanding of what you’re up against. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about your DUI case, rest assured that we’re here to help.
Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing the guidance and support you need to navigate through the legal process with confidence. Don’t let DUI myths cloud your judgment – let’s unravel them together and find the best path forward.
If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, contact Ticket Busters for help. We’ll review the details of your case and provide you with honest and accurate information to help you make the best decision. With our expertise on your side, you can feel confident in knowing that your rights are being protected. Contact our team for a free case evaluation.
Myth #1: I Can Only Be Charged With DUI if My Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Is Above the Legal Limit
Fact: In Nevada, you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit if your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
The legal limit for BAC in Nevada is 0.08%. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re immune to DUI charges if your BAC is below this threshold. You can still be charged with DUI if a police officer determines that you are unable to drive safely due to your consumption of alcohol or drugs.
Myth #2: Breathalyzers Are Always Accurate
Fact: While breathalyzers are used in most DUI cases as an initial field sobriety test, they are not always accurate. In fact, there are several factors that can contribute to incorrect BAC readings when using a breathalyzer, including improper calibration, environmental conditions, and medical conditions.
If you believe that your breathalyzer results were inaccurate, we recommend consulting with an experienced DUI lawyer to determine the best course of action for your case. With the right legal representation, you may be able to challenge the accuracy of your BAC result and seek a favorable outcome.
Myth #3: I’m Required to Take a Breathalyzer Test
Fact: While it’s true that refusing to take a breathalyzer test can result in administrative penalties, you are not legally required to submit to one. The decision whether or not to take the test is completely up to you.
However, keep in mind that if you do refuse to take the test, there could be consequences. In Nevada, drivers who refuse a sobriety test are subject to license suspension and other penalties. So, if you decide not to take a breathalyzer test, make sure you understand the potential consequences of your decision before moving forward.
Myth #4: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m Driving a Motorcycle or Boat
Fact: This is false. In Nevada, you can be charged with a DUI even if you’re operating a motorcycle, boat, or other motorized vehicle. The laws governing DUIs apply to all motorized vehicles, regardless of the type.
So before getting behind any kind of wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, make sure that it’s safe for you to do so. If you’re found to be impaired, regardless of the type of vehicle you are operating, the consequences could be severe.
Myth #5: Prescription Drugs and Over-the-counter Medications Don’t Count as Impairing Substances for DUI
Fact: This is also false. In Nevada, any substance that impairs your ability to operate a vehicle can be considered an illegal substance for DUI purposes. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
It’s important to note that even if you have a valid prescription for a medication, it could still impair your driving skills and lead to a DUI charge. So, if you plan to operate any type of vehicle after taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, make sure that you understand how they could affect your ability to drive safely.
This is particularly true for the elderly, who may be taking several medications at once and are more susceptible to the effects of drugs. As always, if you have any questions about the legal consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please consult with an experienced DUI lawyer right away.
Myth #6: Blood Tests Are More Accurate Than Breathalyzers
Fact: While it’s true that blood tests are generally seen as more accurate than breathalyzers, they can also be inaccurate. This is because the sample taken for a blood test may not properly reflect the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream at the time of your arrest.
For example, if you had recently consumed an alcoholic beverage immediately before taking a breathalyzer test, your BAC may have been higher than the sample taken in a blood test. As a result, it’s important to understand that both breathalyzers and blood tests can be unreliable.
If you believe that your DUI charge is based on inaccurate results from either type of test, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced DUI lawyer who can help you challenge the accuracy of the test results and seek a favorable outcome.
Myth #7: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m Parked or Sleeping in My Car
Fact: This is false. In Nevada, you can be charged with DUI regardless of whether or not your car is in motion. This means that even if you’re parked or sleeping in your car after consuming alcohol or drugs, you can still be arrested and charged with a DUI.
Nevada law states that it’s illegal to be in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, regardless of whether or not you’re actually driving.
Myth #8: All DUI Charges Are the Same
Fact: This is false. In Nevada, there are different levels of DUI offenses based on the circumstances of your case. The severity of the DUI charge depends on various factors.
If it’s a first-time DUI—a DUI without aggravating factors such as property damage or injury or death—the charge is usually a misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to 6 months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
You may be able to avoid a jail sentence and receive a lesser penalty. However, this can depend on the facts of your case, so it’s important to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer who can explain the potential penalties for your charge.
When comparing this to a felony DUI, which can be either a third offense within seven years or a DUI resulting in death or injury, the penalties can be severe. They may include up to 20 years of imprisonment, fines of up to $5,000, and additional penalties imposed by the court.
In addition to these criminal penalties, you can also face administrative discipline such as license suspension, DUI classes, and a requirement to install an ignition interlock device.
Myth #9: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m Under 21 and Only Had a Small Amount of Alcohol
Fact: This is false. Nevada has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21, and any amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge
In Nevada, the legal drinking age is 21, and it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol in any amount. As a result, if you’re caught driving while impaired while under 21 years old, you could be charged with a DUI regardless of how much alcohol was consumed.
Myth #10: DUIs Are Only Prosecuted in Criminal Court
Fact: This is also false. In Nevada, DUIs are also prosecuted in civil court.
In a civil DUI case, the arresting agency (usually a law enforcement officer or state trooper) files a complaint against you for violating Nevada’s DUI laws. The arresting officer doesn’t need to prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; rather, they only need to show that it’s more likely than not that you were operating while impaired.
Myth #11: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m Not Visibly Intoxicated
Fact: This is false. In Nevada, you can be charged with DUI even if you don’t display any visible signs of intoxication. If your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs, you can still be charged with DUI.
The law enforcement officers who respond to your case will likely have a variety of tools at their disposal to determine whether or not you are impaired, including Field Sobriety Tests, breathalyzers, and blood tests.
Myth #12: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m Using Marijuana for Medical Purposes
Fact: This is not true. In Nevada, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, even if you have a valid prescription or are using marijuana for medical purposes.
If you plan to drive after using marijuana for medical purposes, make sure that you understand how the drug could affect your ability to drive safely and abide by the laws in your state. If you’re charged with DUI while using marijuana for medical purposes, it’s important to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer who can help you understand the legal consequences of your case.
Myth #13: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m the Only One on the Road
Fact: This is false. In Nevada, it’s illegal to drive while impaired, regardless of the time of day or whether there are other cars on the road.
Even if you’re not endangering anyone else on the road by driving while impaired, you can still be charged with DUI. This means that even if you’re driving alone in a remote area, the police can still arrest you and charge you with DUI.
Myth #14: I Can’t Be Charged With DUI if I’m Not Swerving or Driving Recklessly
Fact: Again, this is false. In Nevada, you can be charged with DUI even if your driving isn’t erratic or dangerous.
Police officers often use a variety of tools to determine whether a driver is impaired, including observations of their behavior and the results of roadside breathalyzer tests. As a result, it’s possible for an officer to charge you with DUI, even if you’re not driving recklessly or swerving.
Myth #15: A DUI Can Always Be Expunged From My Record
Fact: This is false. Nevada law does not allow expungement of convictions. It does, however, allow for the sealing of records. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to have your DUI charge sealed.
However, in Nevada, there are certain conditions that must be met before you can do so.
The most common requirements include completing probation without any violations and paying all fines associated with the conviction. If these criteria are met, then you may qualify for sealing records related to the DUI charge.
In Nevada, felony convictions are not eligible for sealing and must remain on your criminal record indefinitely. This means that if you were charged with a felony DUI, the conviction will remain on your record forever. Only misdemeanor DUIs are eligible to be sealed.
Facing DUI Charges? Why It’s So Important to Hire an Attorney
If you are facing DUI charges, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled DUI lawyer can help you understand the legal options available to you and provide sound advice about how best to proceed with your case.
Your attorney can also review the facts of your case and explain any potential defenses that may be applicable. They can also advise you regarding plea bargains and negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf.
Additionally, a criminal defense attorney can help you understand the potential consequences of your charge and advise you regarding what to expect in court. They can also represent you throughout any proceedings and provide strong advocacy on your behalf.
Ultimately, it’s important to talk to an experienced DUI lawyer if you have been charged with DUI. They can provide invaluable assistance and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Ticket Busters is here to help.
Our experienced DUI lawyers have a proven track record of success and can provide you with the legal representation you need to protect your rights. Don’t let a DUI charge ruin your future – contact us today for a free consultation.
DUI laws are constantly changing, so it’s important that you understand the current laws in Nevada and how they could affect your case. Ticket Busters can help you make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process. Contact us today for more information!