Nevada DUI laws: You can get arrested even if you’re under 0.08%

Nevada DUI laws impose increasingly harsh penalties if you are convicted of a DUI more than one time in a seven-year period. Under some circumstances, you can be arrested with a blood alcohol level (BAC) under .08%. Keep reading to learn how to avoid getting a DUI on your Nevada arrest record and the potentially life-changing consequences of driving under the influence.

It’s more than just one glass

While it usually takes more than just one glass of wine to be impaired, that’s not always the case. If you’re small or drink on an empty stomach or when you’re dehydrated, a 5 oz glass of wine can make you legally impaired if you are underage or driving a commercial vehicle.

Nevada DUI laws: Drinking & Driving

What is a “Drink”?

Understanding what a “drink” it helps you avoid a DUI. It’s not unusual for someone to say they just had one glass of wine, but the pour was heavy, so they drank 7 oz, not 5, which changes the effect on their BAC. All drinks are not equal when it comes to alcohol content:

Type of Drink Size Alcohol Content-Range
Wine 5 oz 12% – 20%
Liquor (80 proof)  1.5 oz 40% alcohol 
Beer   12 oz 4.5% – 7.5%

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit 

For the purpose of Nevada DUI laws, an Uber or Lyft driver is a commercial driver subject to a .04 BAC limit. Adult drivers are legal if they are below a BAC of .08% but that doesn’t mean you should drive when you have alcohol in your system.

By the time your BAC is .05%, you are physically impaired. Your eyesight, judgment, and coordination are already affected, and your responses will be slower if someone swerves into your lane. For your own safety and that of your passengers and anyone else who might be on the road, it is wise to cut yourself off before your BAC is .05% if you’ll be driving.

First, Second, and Third Offense Repercussions

All things considered and as bad as they are, the penalties for first DUI offenses are light when compared to second or third offenses.

Penalties First DUI Offense Second DUI Offense Third DUI Offense
Classification Misdemeanor Misdemeanor Class B Felony
Jail or Community Service/ Prison 2 days – 6 months in jail or 24 – 96 hours community service 10 days – 6 months in jail or residential confinement 1 – 6 years in prison
Nevada DUI School At Your Own Expense Lengthy DUI Court alcohol or drug abuse treatment program
Fines $400 – $1,000 $750 – $1,000 $2,000 – $5,000
Nevada Victim Impact Panel n/a Required Required
Alcohol/drug dependency evaluation n/a $100 Required
If BAC is .18 or over Nevada Breath Interlock Device for 12 – 36 months 12 – 36 months as a condition of restricted license or reinstatement of license 12 – 36 months after release from prison
Suspension of driver’s license 185-days 1-year (may be a revocation) 3 years suspension or revocation
Registration Suspension n/a 5-day 5-day
Restricted license Possible? Yes, with ignition interlock device
Can it be sealed? After 7 years After 7 years Never

Even without a prior DUI, if you’re involved in an accident that causes serious bodily injuries or death, you can be charged with a Class B Felony and sentenced to 2 – 20 years in prison and fined $2,000 – $5,000.

Signs of Drunk Driving

Signs of drunk driving

Since a BAC of .05% impairs your responses, deciding to drive after you’ve been drinking means you’re gambling with your future. Impaired drivers might as well have a neon sign advertising their status on their car. Law enforcement officers will easily recognize impaired driving. You’ll probably think you’re okay because intoxication causes a false sense of confidence. Impaired drivers are sloppy and erratic drivers. Abrupt lane corrections and adjustments to your speed or driving too slow or too fast as well as overall poor control of the vehicle will be evident.

Consequences of Drunk Driving

Consequences of drunk driving

The consequences of a drunk driving conviction are serious. Contacting a qualified drunk driver accident attorney as soon as possible provides you with the best chance of beating the charges. If you are involved in an accident when you are driving while impaired, a Las Vegas personal injury attorney may be your only hope of avoiding a prison sentence.


Nevada DUI

Nevada DUI laws make it clear that driving under the influence is a risky proposition. The best choice is to err on the side of caution and avoid driving if there is any risk you are impaired. Or, better yet, if you think you will drink, plan an alternate way to get home. Use a Designated Driver, public transportation, a taxi, Uber, or get a room and stay in place. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact our office right away.