Articles Tagged with DUI

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Initial data from the Nevada Department of Transportation (“DOT”) shows that traffic-related fatalities in the state have decreased substantially over the past few years. In 2006, 432 deaths were caused by accidents involving motor vehicles. By the close of 2013, the annual figure had dropped to 259 deaths – three less than in 2012.

A comparison of the DOT’s data between 2012 and 2013 is encouraging in some respects, but troublesome in others. For example, alcohol-related deaths declined from 93 in 2012 to 63 in 2013, a decrease of 32%. However, pedestrian deaths increased by 11.86%, motorcycle fatalities increased by 34%, and deaths involving bicycles climbed by an alarming 133% since 2012.
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According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), through the first six months of the year the LVMPD arrested over 5 thousand motorists for driving under the influence (DUI). One month later that LVMPD statistic had increased to over 6 thousand motorists. This is 1 thousand more motorists than arrested by the LVMPD for DUIs at the same time last year.

Recently, while on duty, an LVMPD officer, Michael Contreras, was hit by a motorist under the influence. 45-year old Jack Bradford turned into oncoming traffic without yielding. This caused Officer Contreras to hit the back of Bradford’s truck. Bradford was charged with DUI, failure to yield to oncoming traffic, failure to obey a red light, no insurance, vehicle registration violation, and a canceled or suspended driver’s license. Officer Contreras suffered a broken wrist and head injuries.

Under Nevada law, a driver is deemed driving under the influence of alcohol and subject to arrest if the driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is at or above the following minimums:

• 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21 • 0.04% for commercial license holders • 0.08% for everyone else.

If found guilty of a DUI, criminal punishment is meted depending on whether it is your first, second, third, or more offense.

With a first DUI offense in Las Vegas, punishment can include:

• 2 days to 6 months in jail OR 24 to 96 hours of community service with a suspended jail sentence of up to 6 months.
• a fine of $400 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 8 hours of DUI school at the driver’s own expense.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days, though a restricted driver’s license allowing driving to and from work or in the course of employment can be applied for after 45 days of the suspension has passed.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 3 to 6 months and/or submission to alcohol abuse assessment, if the BAC is .18% or higher.

If a second DUI offense occurs in Las Vegas within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, punishment can include:

• 10 days to 6 months in jail.
• a fine of $750 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 1-200 hours of community service.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program, if the BAC is .18% or higher.

If a third or more offense occurs within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, the DUI conviction becomes a felony, instead of a misdemeanor for the first two offenses, and punishment can include:

• 1 to 6 years in jail.
• a fine of $2-$5,000, plus court costs.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a revocation of one’s driver’s license for 3 years or more.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program.

If a suspected drunk driver causes injury or death to another person, additional punishment and penalties can apply.
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Family and community are still mourning the loss of Faith Love, a seventh-grader at Rogich Middle School, who was struck and killed while trick-or-treating with friends by a driver charged with driving under the influence (DUI). A memorial near Sahara and Town Center Drive still marks the spot where Love was struck and killed. The memorial also reminds the Las Vegas community that Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians.

Forty-one year-old Justin Caramanica, who was driving the car that struck Love, reportedly was speeding. Caramanica was arrested and taken to the Clark County Detention Center after he failed a field sobriety test. According to the arrest report, sobriety tests conducted at the detention center reportedly showed Caramanica was under the influence of alcohol and a prescription medication. Caramanica later reportedly admitted to drinking and taking prescription drugs before he drove that night. Caramanica was arrested on DUI charges.

Though Love and her friends were not in a crosswalk at the time Love was struck, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, Nevada law refers to implied crosswalks which include pedestrians crossing at corners or intersections.

Love was the second child to lose their life during the Halloween to an alleged drunk driver.

Under Nevada law, for a first DUI offense in Las Vegas, punishment can include:
• 2 days to 6 months in jail OR 24 to 96 hours of community service with a suspended jail sentence of up to 6 months.
• a fine of $400 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 8 hours of DUI school at the driver’s own expense.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days, though a restricted driver’s license allowing driving to and from work or in the course of employment can be applied for after 45 days of the suspension has passed.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 3 to 6 months and/or submission to alcohol abuse assessment, if the BAC is .18% or higher.
If a second DUI offense occurs in Las Vegas within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, punishment can include:
• 10 days to 6 months in jail.
• a fine of $750 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 1-200 hours of community service.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program, if the BAC is .18% or higher.
If a third or more offense occurs within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, the DUI conviction becomes a felony, instead of a misdemeanor for the first two offenses, and punishment can include:
• 1 to 6 years in jail.
• a fine of $2-$5,000, plus court costs.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a revocation of one’s driver’s license for 3 years or more.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program.
When a suspected drunk driver causes injury or death to another person, additional punishment and penalties can apply.
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The Las Vegas District Attorney has formally charged a Clark County first grade teacher with a DUI. Noel Lardeo is charged with a Class B felony of driving and being in actual physical control while under the influence of intoxicating liquor causing death and/or substantial bodily harm to the victim. The charges include one count of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in substantial bodily harm; one count of failure to stop at an intersection; one count of no registration in vehicle; two counts of no driver’s license in possession; and one count of open container in vehicle while driving.

On February 5, 2012, Lardeo lost control of her car and struck a 15-year-old boy sitting on a nearby bus bench. According to witnesses, Lardeo hit the boy after speeding through a red light. After the Las Vegas Metropolitan police arrived, a police officer observed two open, partially consumed containers of vodka in Lardeo’s car. Lardeo was then administered four field sobriety tests with Lardeo’s consent.

On the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, six out of six clues indicated Lardeo was impaired. On the Wall-and-Turn Test, four of eight clues suggested Lardeo was impaired. On the One-Leg Stand Test, two out of four clues indicated Lardeo was impaired. Lardeo then failed a preliminary breath test. Though the complaint only states Lardeo’s Blood Alcohol Content was at least .08% or more. Lardeo told the police that she had not consumed any alcohol since the night before the accident, and a low front tire caused her to lose control of her car.

The boy struck by Lardeo was critically injured; has had one leg amputated, and is still in critical condition. Neither Lardeo, nor her passenger, were injured in the accident.

Under Nevada law, for a first DUI offense in Las Vegas, punishment can include:
• 2 days to 6 months in jail OR 24 to 96 hours of community service with a suspended jail sentence of up to 6 months.
• a fine of $400 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 8 hours of DUI school at the driver’s own expense.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days, though a restricted driver’s license allowing driving to and from work or in the course of employment can be applied for after 45 days of the suspension has passed.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 3 to 6 months and/or submission to alcohol abuse assessment, if the BAC is .18% or higher.
If a second DUI offense occurs in Las Vegas within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, punishment can include:
• 10 days to 6 months in jail.
• a fine of $750 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 1-200 hours of community service.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program, if the BAC is .18% or higher.
If a third or more offense occurs within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, the DUI conviction becomes a felony, instead of a misdemeanor for the first two offenses, and punishment can include:
• 1 to 6 years in jail.
• a fine of $2-$5,000, plus court costs.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a revocation of one’s driver’s license for 3 years or more.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program.

When a suspected drunk driver causes injury or death to another person, additional punishment and penalties can apply. /
Lardeo is being held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center. The preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. April 2 in Las Vegas Justice Court. The Clark County School District has placed Lardeo on an unpaid administrative leave. Under school district rules, a felony conviction is grounds for termination for any school district employee.
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With endless parties and unending booze, Las Vegas is the nation’s ultimate Sin City. And while what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas, one stay locals and visitors do not enjoy is a stay at the local jail, which occurs if one is arrested for a DUI.

Though Las Vegas isn’t one of the top ten “drunkest” cities in the U.S., according to Men’s Health magazine’s 2010 list of America’s “drunkest” cities, the “city that never sleeps” ranks 11. It also, under Nevada law, ranks as one of the toughest states on drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol. A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can help you navigate this legal stream.

Under Nevada law, a driver is deemed driving under the influence of alcohol and subject to arrest if the driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is at or above the following minimums:
• 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21 • 0.04% for commercial license holders • 0.08% for everyone else.
And even if a driver’s BAC is below the Nevada’s Illegal Per Se Law limits, a driver with a lower but detectable amount of alcohol can also be arrested if they appear unable to safely drive a vehicle.

Most important, under Nevada’s Implied Consent Law, a Las Vegas driver “implies” consent to have their BAC tested (blood, breath, or urine) by a police officer the moment they get into a car and drive. Refusal to cooperate is implied as a resist and gives the police the right to make an immediate arrest or even, though less likely, use reasonable force to carry out the test.

Once arrested, under Nevada law there are two types of penalties for suspected DUI’s – administrative and criminal. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles handles administrative punishment and upon a DUI arrest in Las Vegas, a driver’s license can be suspended. If the driver’s BAC registers .08 or more, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles can revoke driving privileges and the police can take your license on the spot.

If found guilty of a DUI, criminal punishment is meted depending on whether it is your first, second, third, or more offense.
With a first DUI offense in Las Vegas, punishment can include:
• 2 days to 6 months in jail OR 24 to 96 hours of community service with a suspended jail sentence of up to 6 months.
• a fine of $400 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 8 hours of DUI school at the driver’s own expense.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days, though a restricted driver’s license allowing driving to and from work or in the course of employment can be applied for after 45 days of the suspension has passed.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 3 to 6 months and/or submission to alcohol abuse assessment, if the BAC is .18% or higher.

If a second DUI offense occurs in Las Vegas within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, punishment can include:
• 10 days to 6 months in jail.
• a fine of $750 to $1000, plus court costs.
• 1-200 hours of community service.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a suspension of your driver’s license for 1 year.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• installation of an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program, if the BAC is .18% or higher.

If a third or more offense occurs within 7 years of the first DUI conviction, the DUI conviction becomes a felony, instead of a misdemeanor for the first two offenses, and punishment can include:
• 1 to 6 years in jail.
• a fine of $2-$5,000, plus court costs.
• mandatory attendance at a Nevada Victim Impact Panel.
• a revocation of one’s driver’s license for 3 years or more.
• an Alcohol Assessment Evaluation.
• an “ignition interlock device” for 12 to 36 months and treatment in an alcohol abuse program.
If a suspected drunk driver causes injury or death to another person, additional punishment and penalties can apply.
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You’re out on the Strip. Celebrating. Having a good time. Hours later when you and your buddy leave, whether your buddy is fit to drive is questionable. But you let them get behind the wheel, you climb into the passenger seat, and the unfortunate happens. An accident. And you’re seriously injured.

Or … you’re out on the Strip. As you leave to go home you jaywalk or cross the street on a red light. You’re hit by a drunk driver and sustain injuries.

Who’s liable?

Under Cromer v. Wilson, 225 P. 3d 788 – Nev: Supreme Court 2010, the state’s high court ruling would hold that the party driving, who was inebriated, AND the person not driving whether a passenger or pedestrian are both liable. The difference is the liability of the driver is taken into account in determining whether the driver is innocent or guilty of a criminal act, while the liability of the passenger or pedestrian is taken into account in determining how much damages are awarded if the driver is found guilty.

In Cromer, Cromer was a passenger in a car driven by Wilson when Wilson ran off the road. The car rolled several times and Cromer was seriously injured, suffering two spinal vertebrae fractures, four broken ribs, a broken wrist, and a broken collarbone. .

At the time of the accident, Wilson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) registered 0.31. An ensuing toxicology report showed Wilson also had cocaine in his system. Subsequently, Wilson was found guilty of two felonies – a DUI and reckless driving (he was speeding when the accident occurred).

An incomplete quadriplegic, with severe disabilities in his legs, arms, and hands, Cromer sued Wilson for his injuries. He asked the court for a ruling of a summary judgment claiming under Nevada law Wilson’s felony convictions automatically made Wilson liable for Cromer’s injuries. In defense, Wilson pleaded comparative negligence, claiming that Cromer was legally responsible for his injuries.

Nevada’s district court held that Cromer was not entitled to a summary judgment because, by Wilson pleading comparative negligence, whether there was liability, the amount of each person’s liability, and the amount of damages now were a question of fact to be determined by a jury. At trial, a jury assessed fault as follows: 25% for Cromer, 75% for Wilson, and awarded damages of $4.5 million. Cromer appealed arguing the district court erred in not awarding him summary judgment and allowing Wilson to argue comparative negligence.

The Nevada Supreme Court agreed with Cromer.

Under NRS 41.133, “conviction of crime is conclusive evidence of facts necessary to impose civil liability for related injury. If an offender has been convicted of the crime which resulted in the injury to the victim, the judgment of conviction is conclusive evidence of all facts necessary to impose civil liability for the injury.” As such, Wilson’s felony convictions automatically made him liable for Cromer’s injuries and a summary judgment to this fact should have been rendered.

Furthermore under NRS 41.141, “in any action to recover damages for death or injury to persons or for injury to property in which comparative negligence is asserted as a defense, the comparative negligence of the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s decedent does not bar a recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.” As such, any negligence Cromer may have had should be taken into account in determining damages, not liability.

As the district court used an incorrect method, but did reach the correct outcome, the high court upheld the judgment.
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