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A good driving record is an asset, and it is important to maintain. Speeding tickets or minor fender benders can affect a driver’s record and insurance rates, but nothing compares to the effects of a DUI (driving while under the influence) conviction. Driving after a night of drinking is always dangerous, and getting caught in the state of Nevada can have serious consequences. Repeat offenders are subject to even more severe penalties and fines, and a DUI conviction stays on a person’s record for 10 years, which means car insurance will be a much larger expense for a very long time.
Basic DUI/DWI Laws for the State of Nevada
A blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent is the legal limit in the state of Nevada. Any level above this indicates ‘per se’ intoxication, which is all the proof the state needs for a DUI conviction. Harsher penalties will apply if a driver is tested chemically, and found to have a BAC over .18 percent. Nevada, as in many other states, enforces a zero-tolerance law for underage drivers who drink, and .02 percent is the legal limit for drivers under 21.
The state of Nevada adheres to the law of “implied consent”, meaning a licensed driver agrees to take a test to verify their BAC if a police officer finds them suspect. If a driver refuses to take any such test, law enforcement officers can use reasonable force in order to get a necessary testing sample. Additionally, penalties for refusing to submit to testing are typically equal to or greater than they would be for failing the chemical test.
Penalties Associated with DUI Driving in Nevada
The penalties for a first time offender include a license suspension of 90 days, and a driver must serve at least half of that suspension before they are eligible for a restricted license. A second offense will bring a 1-year license suspension, with no chance of getting a restricted license. In addition, second offenders may also have their vehicle registration suspended.
Jail time for first offenders is a minimum of 2 days, up to 180 days. Fines start at $400, and can go up to $1,000. In some cases, community service of 96 hours may be allowed instead of time in jail. DUI treatment or education is possible, and will cost approximately $150. Second offenders may have to take part in a 1-year supervised DUI treatment or program. If a driver is granted a restricted-use license, they may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle as a condition of being able to use their license.
Drivers who get another conviction within 7 years of their previous one stand the chance of going to prison for up to 6 years. They may pay up to $5,000 in fines, and lose their license for 3 years. A restricted license is possible in some situations, however, only if an ignition interlock device is installed in the driver’s car, at their expense. In addition, the individual may have to participate in treatment or a DUI program for 3 years.
Nevada SR-22 Requirements
The state of Nevada will require drivers to file an SR22, which itself is not a type of insurance, but a form that needs to be filed by the insurer to prove to the particular state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that a convicted individual has enough insurance in case of an accident. This also enables police officers to verify with the DMV that drivers with DUI convictions are maintaining the proper additional amounts of insurance coverage. SR-22 filings may be required for other types of violations, as ordered by a judge.
How a DUI affects the cost of Auto Insurance
An SR-22 filing requirement will adversely affect the ability to get low-cost car insurance. Once a driver has been convicted of a DUI, they are considered much riskier and more likely to be involved in an accident than other drivers. The convicted driver will need to get an SR-22 insurance policy that is specially tailored to high-risk drivers. The SR-22 policy will need to be kept in place for three years after the DUI conviction, and if it lapses, the driver’s license will automatically be suspended and their license suspension period will start all over.
Nevada Auto Insurance Providers For High-Risk Drivers
It is important for the recipient of a DUI conviction to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer. This is a very specialized area of the law, and a good attorney will be able to control the damage done to a driver’s record, or potentially even eliminate it. Any progress made in this area will assist in attaining better car insurance rates. Many auto insurance companies have expertise in the area of SR-22 policies as well. However, rates may still vary widely so it is important to shop around. A few of the well known brands who write SR-22 insurance policies are AIS insurance, The General Car Insurance Company and Progressive Insurance and if you still have trouble obtaining auto insurance after a DUI contact your State Department of Insurance as there are programs available to assist high risk drivers get car insurance.