Las Vegas Police will be setting up two DUI checkpoints over the Memorial Day Weekend, looking for motorists who are Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substances. Police released that they will be set up in the areas of Cheyenne and Stewart Avenue. They will also be set up at Bruce and Hollywood Blvd. These intersections were selected due to a large number of alcohol related accidents in the area.
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 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 interpretation of the result is highly subjective. A driver may decline to perform FST"s.
Another assessment that the driver will 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 arrest the driver and transport the driver to a place where a confirmatory test can be performed.
If the driver shows signs of impairment or fails the Preliminary Breath Test, the driver will 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 you or someone you know is convicted of 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.