You don’t have to be drunk or even impaired to be convicted of a Nevada DUI; in fact, you don’t even have to be driving!

You can be convicted of a Nevada DUI for driving under the influence of virtually any substance if it impairs your ability to drive. DUI applies to the use of alcohol, prescription drugs, common over-the-counter medicines, illegal drugs, and other intoxicating substances. Get your license back after a Level 1 DUI conviction by taking our easy and convenient 8-hour online drug and alcohol class.


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Nationally, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 is impaired, but you can be arrested with a lower BAC if there is reason to suspect impairment.


Drowsiness is a side effect of many common medications. A drug being available over-the-counter is not a valid defense for a Nevada DUI offense. 

Prescription Medicines

Having a prescription to use a drug or a even having a bad reaction to a medicine is not a defense to a charge of driving under the influence.


Driving “under the influence” is defined as having certain levels of certain drugs in your blood or urine, regardless of whether or not there is impairment.

Nevada DUI FAQ

You may be arrested for being “under the influence” if you are in a position of “actual physical control” of a vehicle, and  have:

  • a BAC of 0.08 or higher
  • have certain levels of certain drugs in your blood or urine
  • exhibit behavior which suggests impairment
  • a law enforcement officer has probable cause to suspect a DUI

Probable cause includes having the smell of marijuana on your person or in your car!

You don’t even have to be driving to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. People are arrested all the time “sleeping it off” in their cars. The court will determine “actual physical control” by considering factors like where the keys are, if the engine is running, if headlights were left on, and if the driver was awake or asleep when found. If it is obvious that you drove to get to the location where you are found under the influence, you will likely get a DUI.

A first- or second-time Nevada DUI offense that has not caused harm, injury, or death to another person is considered a Misdemeanor offense, the least serious category of crime in Nevada.

Although misdemeanors are not punished as harshly as felonies, serious and long-term penalties can still be applied.

List of penalties for first-time Nevada DUI offenders:

  • Two to six months in jail
  • 24-96 hours of community service
  • A mandatory alcohol awareness programs
  • Fines ranging from $400 to $1,000
  • Court costs
  • A mandatory MADD lecture
  • A Nevada breath interlock device for three to six months
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • $35 civil penalty fee

Additional penalties for those over the age of 21 with a BAC greater than 0.18 at the time of arrest:

  • An alcohol dependency evaluation
  • An alcohol abuse and treatment program
  • A Nevada breath interlock device for a year to 36 months

Penalties and fines will increase if the person is found guilty of a second DUI.

Nevada laws state that a person will be convicted of a category B felony if found guilty of a third DUI offense within seven years of the first DUI conviction.

Penalties for a third DUI offense:

  • State prison for one to six years
  • Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000
  • A mandatory victim impact panel
  • A breath interlock device for one year to 36 months after completing prison sentence
  • 3-year driver’s license suspension or revocation
  • 5-day registration suspension
  • $35 civil penalty fee
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug evaluation

Additionally, a person can be convicted of a category B felony if they bring death or injury to another person and can face the following additional consequences:

  • Two to 20 years in state prison
  • Fines ranging from $2,000-$5,000

If a person has been convicted of three previous DUI convictions and kills another person while driving intoxicated, that driver can face a category A felony along with a prison sentence ranging from 25 years to a life with the possibility of parole for the following 10 years.

A  Nevada DUI conviction has several components:

  • Determination of severity
  • Sentencing
  • Fines and fees
  • License suspension
    • getting a restricted license
  • The process of getting your license back

Nevada courts require you to take an  8-hour drug and alcohol education class to get your license back. Our online Nevada DUI course is DMV licensed and meets Court requirements for a Nevada DUI Level 1 conviction.

Checkout or download our Nevada DUI guide for additional details. Take the required course at your convenience, in the comfort of your home with  our 8-hour online DUI L1 class. Get started now!

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Nevada DUI Costs

*if it did not cause harm, injury, or death to another person
$1,000 – $2,500       Alcohol/drug education
$150 – $2,000            Bail
$40 – $80                     Community service fees
$150 – $1,800            Court fines
$2,500 – $5,000        Attorney fees
$500 – $1,500            Ignition interlock device
$300                               Jail
$150                                Licensing & administrative fees
$100 – $1,000             Alternate transportation
$4,500 – $10,000      Increased cost of insurance
$100 – $2,000             Vehicle towing and impound