By now, you have probably seen one of the ads on television. A young man laughs and looks happy during a night of drinking with friends. He puts his arm around a young lady while walking out of from a bar, looking behind him at nothing in particular.
What he fails to see is the police officer whose uniform has blended into a nearby building. It is one example of the message, “They’ll see you before you see them.”
The implication is clear: Police officers nationwide are being urged to arrest more motorists for driving under the influence (DUI). The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign went into affect across the country on August 19, and it concludes on Labor Day this Monday.
As a result, it is largely expected that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) will set up sobriety checkpoints around the city in addition to using saturation patrols for an increased law enforcement presence. Whether it’s a cookout, a day at the pool, or a night at the bar, it is in the best interest of everyone who plans on consuming alcohol during the holiday weekend to make sure that they do not get behind the wheel afterwards.
Any DUI arrest not only has the potential to derail a person’s holiday weekend, but it can cause a cavalcade of legal headaches for many months afterward. The severity of the penalties for DUI increases with subsequent convictions:
- First DUI — Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail or up to 96 hours of community service. If the alleged offender had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.18 or more, he or she will also be ordered to attend mandatory treatment for the abuse of alcohol or drugs.
- Second DUI (within seven years) — Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, and mandatory treatment for the abuse of alcohol or drugs.
- Third DUI (within seven years) — Category B felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six years in state prison.
Many people are eager to please police officers when they encounter DUI checkpoints, but you should remember that you still retain your rights in these settings. While you may have to stop and answer an officer’s questions, you are under no obligation to allow law enforcement to search your vehicle.
You should certainly keep the imagery of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” ads in mind when leaving any party or get-together this weekend. If you are charged with DUI in Nevada, you should contact a Las Vegas DUI lawyer as soon as possible for help in getting the most favorable possible outcome of your case.