Can an Ignition Interlock Device Protect Your Driving Privileges in Nevada?

Motorists charged with driving under the influence (DUI) face a number of serious penalties and long-term consequences. Apart from fines, court-ordered courses, and possible jail time, one of the penalties convicted individuals struggle with most is the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. Not being able to drive can place a significant strain on one’s personal and professional life.

Under Nevada law, anyone who is arrested under suspicion of DUI has their driver’s license taken away. The accused driver is then given a temporary 7-day license. If you request a hearing to appeal the suspension, you put yourself in position to protect your driving privileges and obtain a restricted driver’s license. These administrative hearings are handled separately from your criminal case, though certain conditions may be imposed by a judge.

A restricted license may allow you to continue driving in order to work or do other important errands, such as picking up your children from school. Because they are restricted, however, there are often terms attached. In some cases, but not all, these terms may include installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). IID’s are essentially breathalyzer devices that prevent your vehicle from starting if it detects any alcohol in your system.

Quick Things to Know About IIDs

  • IIDs are currently used at the discretion of a Nevada judge, commonly in cases involving first- and second-time offenders. It may also be used in cases involving aggravating circumstances in which driver’s receive longer suspensions or revocations and wish to have their licenses reinstated after a certain period of time, including cases involving high BAC levels or felony DUIs.
  • The cost of an IID is your responsibility. If you have the option of installing an IID in order to drive, you should be aware that you will be required to cover any expenses associated with it. This may include installation and removal costs, and routine calibration fees.
  • IIDS must be installed in every vehicle you own, which may make it difficult if people own multiple vehicles in their name. Courts will also require that the device be installed on any vehicle you drive. Failing to have an IID when you’re behind the wheel can result in serious penalties, including terms of imprisonment, fines, and further license suspension without the possibility for an IID.
  • IIDs work by requiring a driver to blow into the device prior to starting their vehicle. If any alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start and it will be recorded as a failed test. These failures, and too many of them, can be provided to the court. IIDs will also periodically require drivers to blow into the device while they are driving in order to ensure they did not use someone else to blow into the device when starting their car or to ensure the driver did not start consuming alcohol after starting the vehicle.
  • IIDs are still technology that is being improved. This means that certain things can give off false readings. For example, drivers have reported false readings from mouthwash, fruit drinks, and other contaminates that was not alcohol.

Current state law gives judges the discretion to order IID installation in any case they wish, but it is not used as frequently as in other states. However, there is a newly proposed bill authored by Senator Mark Manendo that would allow any motorist charged with DUI to have the option of installing an IID to retain their driving privileges. The bill would make Nevada the 30th state to enact a statewide law that provides all accused individuals with the option of installing an IID.

To give a perspective on how this new legislation would impact the rights of drivers who have been charged with DUI consider these stats:

  • In 2014, only approximately 750 IIDs were in use in Nevada, compared to nearly 29,000 in Texas
  • Had the legislation been in effect in 2015 in Nevada, more than 9,000 people arrested under suspicion of DUI would have been eligible to install an IID.

Although it remains to be seen whether the proposed bill will gain support and pass, it is important for anyone charged with DUI to understand that they may have options available to not only protect their driving privileges with the use of an IID, but to fight their underlying charges and driver’s license suspension with the help of experienced defense attorneys who know Nevada law and how to effectively represent clients and their best interests during criminal and driver’s license proceedings.

At Joey Gilbert Law, our attorneys represent clients facing all types of DUI allegations. We also go the extra mile to fight in any way possible to help them protect their ability to drive. Depending on the circumstances involved, our legal team may be able to work with driver’s to help them avoid installation of IIDs and the fees it comes with (although it is usually only an option for first-time offenders), or help them obtain temporary or restricted licenses with the use of IIDs. Please be aware that time is of the essence in these cases and that you must request an administrative hearing within 7 days of your arrest! We’re available 24/7 to help you get started.

If you have questions about a DUI charge in Reno or any of the surrounding areas of the state, Joey Gilbert Law is here to fight for your rights, your future, and your driving privileges. Put proven Reno defense attorneys in your corner by contacting us as soon as possible.


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