With the holidays upon us, those who live in or drive in and around Las Vegas should be aware of several factors for the Thanksgiving week which may lead to increased challenges on the roads. Tickets are always at least an annoyance but can become serious if not resolved in a timely way. We can help with that; however, prevention is always the best solution. Knowing what conditions are likely to exist can assist in avoiding citations.
The numbers of vehicles on the roads of Las Vegas and surrounding communities will be higher than normal during the holiday season. Those visiting family and friends will increase vehicle counts on surface roadways and passers-through will swell the numbers of vehicles on the freeways. Its estimated that 55 million Americans will be traveling by motor vehicle during this Thanksgiving week. Additionally, this year the weather is not cooperating, with predictions of colder temperatures and precipitation with the possibility of snow in the valley, although it will most likely only hit the higher elevations on the west side of the valley.
With more vehicles on the roads, it is inevitable that traffic enforcement efforts by local police departments will also increase. Additionally, with “Black Wednesday” being one of the biggest bar nights of the year, impaired driving is likely to increase. Look for law enforcement activities to be high during Thanksgiving week and make the necessary adjustments to your driving activities accordingly.
Although at the time of this writing there are no announcements of planned DUI checkpoints in the Las Vegas area, with the increases in impaired driving likely to result this week, be on the lookout for DUI check points on highly traveled roads. You must stop for such checkpoints, or risk being charged with a gross misdemeanor, which can result if up to a year in jail and/or up to $2,000 fines.
Checkpoints are legal in Nevada with some requirements for notification under the law.
- Warning signs must be posted 700 feet (in urban areas…1/4 mile in rural areas) prior to the checkpoint to warn drivers a Police Stop Ahead. This sign must be illuminated or have a flair lit to attract attention to the sign.
- A flashing red light must be placed by the side of the roadway at least 100 yards from the entrance to the checkpoint.
- A sign with the word STOP must be placed in the center of the roadway readable from at least 50 yards from the checkpoint.
- The entire checkpoint must be visible from at least 100 yards from the entrance to the checkpoint from either direction.
You may make a legal turn to avoid the checkpoint, however you may not make U-turns or any other type of improper turn. Police are likely to set up the checkpoint in a place where legal turns are difficult to impossible within the distance requirements above.
Police may employ a system to stop every vehicle, or vehicles with even numbered license plates, or any other system which is non-discriminatory. Once in the checkpoint the officer will usually ask a few questions, but they are actually looking for signs of impairment. Suspected drivers may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, or to exit their vehicle to perform a field sobriety test. If the officers suspect impairment, the driver will be arrested and charged with DUI.
Ticket Busters wishes all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving
Ticket Busters along with all the affiliated companies of the Richard Harris Law Firm family wish our clients a most Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful to our clients, friends, and all others for the trust they have placed in our firm to assist with their legal needs. Drive safely, especially this week so that the holidays may be joyful. If you do happen to receive a ticket during this season, we’re here to help. Call us at (702) 666-6666, or text your ticket to us through our website.