Las Vegas police will be setting up a DUI checkpoint over the Fourth of July Weekend, looking for motorists who are Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substances. Police released that they will be set up tonight, Sunday July 3rd at 7 p.m. until Monday July 4th at 3 a.m. on Paradise Rd. north of Tropicana Ave., near the Las Vegas strip. Police will be assigning officers who have been designated as "Drug Recognition Experts" and they plan on focusing on detecting drivers who are under the influence of controlled substances, in addition to those under the influence of alcohol.
DUI Checkpoints, also called Sobriety Checkpoints, are where police block traffic at a particular intersection or along a certain stretch of road. Then, the officers stop vehicles based on an objective pattern (which could be every car, every other car, every third car, etc.) When the vehicle approaches the intersection, the officers will speak with the driver in an attempt to assess whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. If the officer observes objective indicators of impairment, he or she directs the driver to a secondary area.
At the secondary area, the officer will usually remove the driver from the vehicle and request that the driver perform field sobriety tests (called FST's). The most commonly used FST's are the One Leg Stand, the Walk and Turn and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. Less common tests include the Finger to Nose test, saying the alphabet backwards or number counting. FST's are frequently unreliable and the interpretation of the "result" is highly subjective. A driver may decline to perform FST's.
Another assessment that the driver may be asked to perform is a Preliminary Breath Test. The Preliminary Breath Test is a hand-held device. The driver is required to blow into the device to determine if alcohol is present. Nevada's Implied Consent Law provides that every driver is presumed to consent to a Preliminary Breath Test. If a driver refuses to take a Preliminary Breath Test, the officer is authorized to transport the driver to a place where a confirmatory test can be performed. If the driver shows signs of impairment or if the Preliminary Breath Test indicates the presence of alcohol, the driver will likely be arrested and charged with Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substances (DUI/DWI).
Driving under the Influence is a very serious charge. A person convicted of a first-offense DUI in Nevada can face up to: a $1,000.00 fine plus administrative assessments, six (6) months in jail, attend DUI School and/or complete ninety-six (96) hours of community service to be performed in distinctive clothes identifying him or her as a DUI offender. This is in addition to an administrative license suspension through the DMV. If the person has a Blood Alcohol Level in excess of 0.18 at the time of arrest can face additional penalties, including an alcohol assessment and extensive counseling requirements. A person convicted of a second DUI offense within seven (7) years can face even harsher punishments, and a third offense within seven (7) years can bring a MANDATORY PRISON sentence.
If a driver is determined to have controlled substances in their system, they may also be charged with a Felony for Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance. A person convicted of Under the Influence of a Controlled substances can face up to four (4) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.00.
If you or someone you know is convicted of Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance or Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance, contact a Las Vegas DUI Attorney right away. A Las Vegas DUI Lawyer can analyze the facts of your case, advise you regarding the law and possible consequences in your specific situation, and protect your rights.