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By: Law Offices of Mace J. Yampolsky

Revoked License? You Can Drive Legally

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Revoked License For DUI & The Rise of the Breath Ignition Interlock Device

If you have a revoked license in Las Vegas, the Nevada DUI defense landscape has been radically altered by a change to NRS 484C.460 which presents accused drunk drivers with a genuine “good news,” “bad news,” situation. The amendment to the law permits Nevada DMV to assess two driver license revocation penalties in the same case—namely, the DMV in Las Vegas may impose a 90 day revocation of the accused Nevada driver license based upon a failed breath or blood test pursuant to implied consent law, and then may seek an additional 95 day revocation based upon a corresponding DUI conviction in the same case. If you are doing the math at home, what once was a 90 day license revocation with the promise of a restricted driving privilege after 45 days has now become a 185 day license revocation in the vast majority of cases. The import of this change on our clients, a great many of whom are commuting, working people, can scarcely be overstated.

That said, as I alluded to above, the news is not ALL BAD. Whether accused of their first, second, or even third DUI, drivers in Nevada that have had their driving privilege revoked are now obliged to drive throughout the period of the revocation of their license—provided that the driver can “pay the freight,” so to speak. In order to drive during the revocation period, DUI defendants may pay for, install, and have inspected by DMV what is known as a Breath Ignition Interlock Device, or BIID, for short. In addition to the initial cost of installation, drivers must also pay monitoring costs related to the operation of the device. In essence, the device serves a gatekeeper function, prohibiting a prospective driver to start their car wherein the device is installed until such time as a legal Blood Alcohol Concentration is detectable in their breath.

The benefits of this new NV law to drivers in need of transportation to work are obvious—if you pay the costs, you can drive, a godsend to many working families to be sure. But the real winners here are the manufacturers, monitors, and maintainers of breath ignition interlock devices in Nevada—for them this is the equivalent of a gold rush circa 1849. The law has been modified to provide them with a captive customer base—and one that faces the threat of a substantial jail sentence for noncompliance. It is certainly a significant change to the landscape of DUI defense in Las Vegas and is one that both accused parties and DUI defense counsel ought to be aware of.

Primary Las Vegas practice points to take away are that, whenever possible, in negotiating a DUI case, push for an “under the influence” finding as opposed to allowing the entry of a specific finding of an alcohol level, marijuana level, or prescription drugs. With no finding, nothing is sent to DMV and the DMV cannot act. Finally, with the so-called “carrot” of driving with a BIID comes also the stick—if arrested for driving on a revoked Nevada driver license without BIID the penalties are downright draconian:

  • Ist Offense= 3 years no driver license and no ability to use BIID during restricted period
  • 2nd Offense= 5 years no driver license and no ability to use BIID during restricted period
  • 3rd Offense= Penalties Unclear; I guess that means they seek to lock you up, pitch the keys, and keep you away from all vehicles on four wheels?!?

To learn more about revoked license issues and how to drive legally with a revoked license, give us a call to schedule an appointment at (702) 385-9777, or visit us here.  Click to learn more about Mace Yampolsky.  To learn more about DUI issues in general click here.