Are DUIs Considered Traffic Violations in Nevada?
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Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in Nevada and can have substantial consequences—not only for the driver but also for the public.
Since 2016, 55.6 % of all fatal wrecks involved motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination of both, according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. This has only accelerated since the start of the pandemic.
While these accidents happen, the vast majority of the time, people are pulled over by law enforcement and cited for DUI. You might go through a sobriety checkpoint after a night out on the strip, but what infraction do you actually receive? Is a DUI considered a traffic violation in Nevada? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between DUIs, and traffic tickets, and what to do should you receive either one.
What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a Traffic Ticket?
A DUI is a criminal offense and can result in jail time and fines. A traffic ticket, on the other hand, is considered an infraction of motor vehicle laws and usually will not lead to any incarceration penalties.
Both will have an effect on your driving privileges. For example, a DUI conviction will lead to a suspension of your driving privileges and possibly an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle. A traffic ticket could result in points being added to your driving record, possible license suspensions or revocations, increased insurance premiums, or more serious consequences if you are already facing other penalties.
Consequences of a Traffic Ticket
The consequences of a traffic ticket vary from state to state. In Nevada, for example, the fines for speeding or other minor traffic violations are typically around $200-400. You may also have points added to your driving record and those can lead to increased insurance premiums and additional penalties if you accumulate too many points in a certain period of time.
The Nevada DMV uses a demerit point system. Depending on the infraction, you get a certain number of demerit points. When these points reach a certain threshold within a year, your license can be suspended.
Consequences of a DUI
A DUI is considered a criminal offense in Nevada and can lead to jail time, fines, or both. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could face charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony.
Additionally, you could have your license suspended for up to 3 years. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and attend classes on drug or alcohol abuse education.
Insurance premiums, too, can skyrocket after a DUI conviction.
Is a DUI Considered a Traffic Violation in Nevada?
Yes, DUIs are considered traffic violations in the state of Nevada. But not all traffic violations are a crime.
“Minor” traffic violations are most commonly referred to as infractions. Some examples of these infractions are speeding, running a red light, and parking in the wrong place.
At the start of 2023, Nevada passed a law decriminalizing minor offenses.
Before, a speeding ticket or running a stop sign are considered misdemeanors. Under Nevada law, misdemeanors are criminal offenses and carry fines of up to $1,000 and/or jail time for up to 6 months. But with this change, these types of infractions are now civil offenses. So while you may not end up in jail, you still have to pay the fines associated with the violation.
However, there are traffic violations that still fall under criminal offenses. Reckless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident and driving under the influence all fall under this category.
A conviction for these violations can range from a misdemeanor to felony charges. Depending on the severity of the charge, they can come with hefty fines, jail time, or both. First-time misdemeanor DUIs have more lenient punishments than repeat offenders.
Difference Between a DUI Ticket and Citation
A traffic ticket or citation is used interchangeably. They both mean the same thing—which is an official notice that you have been charged with a specific traffic infraction. You can get a speeding ticket, or a citation for parking illegally.
A traffic ticket or citation will contain the charge or infraction of which you are being accused and the penalty associated with it. It’ll contain the court that has jurisdiction over the matter and a date when you need to appear in court.
When it comes to DUI, however, you’ll be asked to take a preliminary breath test using a breathalyzer or administer field sobriety tests. From there, you’ll either be arrested (where another set of processes takes place) or be let go with a warning assuming no other infractions are committed.
Is DUI Considered a Moving Violation?
Yes, DUI is considered a moving violation.
A moving violation is any traffic infraction that occurs while the car is in motion. This includes any violation such as speeding or running a stop sign. A DUI is included in this category because it involves operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Facing DUI Charges?
While traffic tickets may seem minor, they can still have serious consequences. A DUI can lead to jail time and hefty fines. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced attorney as soon as possible so they can help protect your rights and minimize potential penalties.
No one wants to be in a situation where they have to face serious legal consequences. But if you do find yourself in this situation, it’s important to have the right resources and support. A skilled attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout the legal process to ensure that your rights are protected.
The Defenders is a Las Vegas-based law firm with decades of experience defending clients in DUI cases. Our attorneys are well-versed in Nevada’s laws and can help you navigate the legal process to ensure that your rights are respected and you get the best possible outcome.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
With the right assistance, you’ll be able to get through this difficult time. We know what it takes to defend clients in DUI cases and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Our team is here to provide guidance and legal counsel so that you can get through this with minimal stress and worry. Call our office today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a DUI ticket in Nevada?
A DUI ticket or charge in Nevada can range from $400 to $1,000. It can also include jail time and the suspension of your driver’s license. Of course, this varies from case to case. Factors like the severity of the offense, prior convictions, and the level of intoxication can all affect the outcome.
How long does a DUI stay on your driving record in Nevada?
A DUI stays on your driving record in Nevada for seven years. This means that it will appear when insurance companies or employers check your record.
How many points is a DUI in Nevada?
A DUI in Nevada doesn’t come with any demerit points. The DMV, however, automatically suspends your license. To be able to drive again, you must request a DMV hearing within 7 days.
Do I need a lawyer for a DUI in Nevada?
Yes, you should consult with an experienced attorney if you’re facing charges of driving under the influence. They can provide valuable insight regarding your case and represent you in court. Having legal representation is one of the best ways to protect your rights and minimize potential penalties.