January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Out-of-state DUI effects on Las Vegas tourists
When most tourists think about Las Vegas, they conjure up images of gambling, spectacular shows, and free food and alcohol. Yet, tourists would be wise to remember that rules don't go out the window once they land in Las Vegas, and that a DUI conviction has harsh penalties in the state of Nevada.
Implications and penalties for an out-of-state DUI
DUI charges occur in every state, regardless of whether the recipient is an in-state or out-of-state resident. Although the legal blood alcohol limit of .08 percent is the same everywhere due to Congressional highway funds, states retain discretion to charge and punish DUI offenses in different ways.
Out-of-state residents are commonly charged differently than in-state residents. However, that does not necessarily mean a more positive outcome if you are pulled over in a state with lighter sentences.
There is potential for double punishment with an out-of-state DUI. A majority of states participate in an interstate driver's license compact, which means when an out-of-state driver is pulled over, his or her home state is notified. This notification provision means that you can be subject to punishment under the laws of both states.
DUI charges in Las Vegas
Nevada boasts some of the harshest DUI laws in the country due to the large tourism industry. For instance, many states give drivers the option of refusing to take a breathalyzer test when pulled over. Nevada drivers do not get this option--submitting to a field sobriety test is mandatory due to implied consent laws. State police are actually authorized to use force if necessary to make a person submit to testing.
In addition to being forced to submit to testing, an individual charged with a DUI in Nevada is also required to attend two proceedings. One is an administrative proceeding with the department of motor vehicles. The second is a criminal court case.
During the administrative proceeding, restrictions on a driver's license may be imposed. Depending on the results of the blood alcohol test, the criminal prosecution can take two different approaches: a per se theory of guilt and a common law theory of guilt.
The per se approach is used when the registered blood alcohol level was at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. That .08 or higher blood alcohol level creates a presumption of guilt, and the prosecution does not need to provide further evidence for a DUI conviction. However, even in such cases, those accused can still seek to challenge the prosecution on other grounds like the veracity of the test results.
For test results under the legal limit, the common law approach is used. In the common law approach, the court looks at the driver's conduct, appearance and manner.
The court can consider the following factors:
-Smell of alcohol
-Driving and speech patterns
-Field sobriety tests
Penalties for a first offense DUI in Nevada include a fine of up to $1200 and jail time of up to six months.
An individual charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, whether a tourist or a local, can benefit from an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. An attorney can provide knowledge and guidance in navigating the court system.
Article provided by Dean Y. Kajioka
Visit us at http://www.kajiokalaw.com/---
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