DUI Causing Death

In Nevada, DUI Causing Death is a class B felony offense. A driver under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs who causes death to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian may face penalties of two to 20 years in state prison, fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, and a three-year driver’s license suspension.

Legal Terms Of DUI Causing Death In Nevada

A DUI causing death occurs when the driver meets one of the following conditions:

  • Driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor
  • Blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more
  • Has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours after driving or being in physical control of a vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance or under the combined influence of a controlled substance and intoxicating liquor
  • Inhaling, ingesting, applying, or using a chemical, poison, or organic solvent, or any combination of these, to the point of being incapable of safely driving or controlling a vehicle
  • Having a prohibited substance in the blood or urine in an illegal amount

It’s important to note that defendants in fatal DUI cases may not be charged with murder.

Sentencing for DUI Causing Death Cases

Defendants convicted of drunk or drugged driving that leads to death may face the following punishment:

  • Two to 20 years in Nevada State Prison
  • Fine of $2,000 to $5,000
  • Revoked license for three years
  • One to three years of having an ignition interlock device as a condition for reinstating driving privileges

During sentencing, the judge will review any aggravating factors, such as whether the defendant was also transporting a child under the age of 15 during the violation. Defendants with three prior DUI convictions will be charged with vehicular homicide, a class A felony that can lead to 25 years in prison or life in prison.

The defendant’s license will be suspended for three years, beginning after the defendant is released from prison. To reinstate the license, the defendant will need to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. They may not drive a vehicle without an ignition interlock device for up to three years.

Fighting DUI Causing Death Charges

To reduce or dismiss DUI Causing Death charges, a defense lawyer needs to prove that the defendant wasn’t driving under the influence and that the victim’s death wasn’t their fault.

The defendant’s freedom may be secured with the help of the following evidence:

  • Police incorrectly administered field sobriety tests
  • The breath test or blood test was incorrectly administered or defective
  • The defendant had rising blood alcohol; the defendant’s blood alcohol content was legal during the violation but rose to illegal levels once police arrived and administered the test
  • The defendant has GERD, which causes inaccurately high BAC results from the breathalyzer
  • The defendant became intoxicated or began drinking after they stopped driving

The defense attorney will need to gather and present the following types of evidence to prove their client’s innocence:

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • GPS records
  • Eyewitness recordings from phones and other devices
  • Law enforcement reports
  • Surveillance video
  • Medical records
  • Accident reconstruction expert testimony

Charges may be reduced if the defendant was not driving under the influence or if the defendant’s actions did not cause the victim’s death.

If the prosecutor is able to prove the DUI but unable to establish a direct causal link between the defendant’s impaired driving and the victim’s death, then the felony DUI charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor.

If the prosecutor can prove causation but can’t show that the defendant was impaired, then the DUI Causing Death charges can be reduced to vehicular manslaughter.

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