DUI Sentencing Outline
If the defendant enters a guilty plea to a DUI First or Second offense they will be sentenced by the court. Generally, for a DUI 1st offense, if the person is over the age of 21 and their BAC is not over a 0.18%, then that person will likely be sentenced to court standards for a DUI 1st offense.1 However, if a person's BAC is over a 0.18%, and/or it is their Second DUI, then the court may include or the District Attorney may request that the defendant be sentenced to other requirements, some of which are required by law. What follows is an extensive, yet not exhaustive, list of the potential possibilities that the judge may sentence the defendant to and an explanation of those possibilities.
Suspended Jail Sentence both 1st DUI & 2nd DUI
As a part of the defendant's sentence, the court will suspend a jail sentence ranging from 30 days Washoe County Jail up to 180 days. As long as the defendant complies with all the court's requirements they will not have to serve any portion of the suspended jail sentence. However, should a person violate the terms and conditions of his or her sentence then that person's sentence will likely be revoked. Once revoked, the person must serve the suspended jail sentence. The suspended jail sentence is always ordered by the court.
Washoe County Jail
The Court always has the discretion to sentence a person up to 6 months to the Washoe County Jail for all misdemeanor offenses including DUI. Although no guarantees are made, it is not likely that the Court would sentence a person to jail as long as there are no aggravating factors.
Community Service - 1st DUI Only
For a first time DUI the defendant must serve at least 48 hours community service. Most of the time, but not always, judges will give a person credit towards community service if time was spent in jail. There is a $25 sign up fee for the community service.
Jail or House Arrest - 2nd DUI Only
If the defendant is convicted or enters a guilty plea to a DUI Second offense, then he or she must serve at least 10 days Washoe County Jail or 20 days house arrest. If the defendant is allowed to do house arrest, then he or she must ensure that a landline is installed at their residence. House arrest is setup through the Department of Alternative Sentencing, described below.
Fines and Costs - 1st DUI Only
The minimum fines and costs for a DUI 1st offense range from $400 up to a maximum fine of $1,000. The fines and costs also include the administrative assessments and chemical analysis fee of $115 + $10 + $7 + 60. The standard fines and costs for a DUI 1st offense totals $695. If the defendant cannot pay the total amount in one lump sum, then he/she may be able to get on a payment plan costing an additional $50.
Fines and Costs - 2nd DUI Only
The minimum fines and costs for a DUI 2nd offense range from $750 up to a maximum of $1000. The fines and costs also include the administrative assessments and chemical analysis fee of $115 + $10 + $7 + 60. The standard fines and costs for a DUI 2nd offense totals $945. If the defendant cannot pay the total amount in one lump sum, then he/she may be able to get on a payment plan costing an additional $50.
Victim Impact Panel - 1st and 2nd DUI
Under order of the Court, the defendant must attend one Victim Impact Panel. The Victim Impact Panel is designed to show how DUI's impact peoples lives.
The Victim Impact Panel costs about $40 and is given once a month at the Lawlor Events Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Every person in attendance must be drug and alcohol free. Further, if your driver's license was revoked, do not drive to the Victim Impact Panel.
484 Election - 2nd DUI Only
The 484 program has benefits and disadvantages. The benefit to the 484 Election is that it will reduce the defendant's confinement time in half. For example, if a person is sentenced to jail he or she will only be responsible for serving 5 days Washoe County Jail instead of 10. If a person is sentenced to house arrest then he or she will only be responsible for serving 10 days house arrest instead of 20.
The disadvantage to the 484 election is that the Court will have an additional one year of jurisdiction over the defendant. Therefore, the counseling and all other aspects of the defendant's sentence may be extended for a total of 3 years. If the person does not elect under this program, then the Court's jurisdiction remains at 2 years. The 484 election should be considered only for a DUI 2nd offense, and both the Court and district attorney must agree to allow the defendant to elect under the program.
Court Compliance Program (also known as CCP)
This program is offered only in Reno Justice Court. Under the Court Compliance Program the defendant must check in with the court every Friday morning. If the defendant demonstrates to the court that they are making progress and are in compliance with the terms and conditions of their sentence then the court will simply give that person an early out. However, should a person miss a court appearance, not attend a counseling session, have a dirty test, or violate the terms of their sentence, then they must appear before the judge and explain why their sentence should not be revoked.
Department of Alternative Sentencing (also known as DAS)
DAS is a misdemeanor probationary agency charged with supervising those who are sentenced by the court. If the Court orders a person to be supervised by DAS, they will be required to subject themselves to the conditions of his or her probation, be required to check in, and provide daily drug tests. The defendant will be required to report in person, alcohol and drug free, to DAS the next working day after his or her conviction, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. DAS is also responsible for the house arrest program.
The Defendant will also be required to pay supervision fees and will be subject to warrantless search/seizure of his or her person, vehicle, and/or residence. Failure to comply with any of the DAS provisions may result in a warrant of arrest.
DAS is located at:
350 South Center Street, First Floor
Reno, NV 89501
Office: (775) 325-6883
Fax: (775) 325-6850
Ignition Interlock Device
An ignition interlock device is an in-car alcohol breath screening device that is wired into the vehicle's ignition. It will prevent a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected in a breath sample provided by the driver. The device is located inside the vehicle, near the driver's seat. Before starting the vehicle, the driver must blow into the device. If the device detects alcohol, the vehicle will not start. The driver will bear all costs of the ignition interlock unit. The cost to have the device installed along with inspection and maintenance fees are determined by the vendor.
Courts will order the defendant to install the ignition interlock device where the defendant's breath or blood alcohol level is above a 0.18. The defendant will be required to install the ignition interlock device upon obtaining their Nevada driver's license.
Ignition Interlock Service Providers:
- Alcohol Detection System, Inc. 1-888-786-7384
- Consumer Safety Technology, Inc. 1-877-777-5020
- Draeger Safety 1-800-332-6858
- Smart Start of Nevada 1-800-880-3394
Violate No Laws
Should the defendant get charged with a new criminal offense they will be subject to having their sentence revoked. Therefore, the defendant must stay out of trouble and obey all laws.
Not Consume or Possess Alcohol or Unauthorized Drugs
The judge can order the defendant not to posses or consume alcohol and/or non-prescription drugs. Therefore, should the defendant provide a dirty test to his counselor or DAS then his or her sentence may be revoked.
Subject to Random Search and Seizure by a Peace Officer
The defendant's suspended sentence may be conditioned upon the defendant giving up certain constitutional rights. Specifically, the defendant may be subject to submit his or her person, vehicle and residence to search and seizure by any peace officer any time of day or night without benefit of warrant or probable cause.
Subject to Random Testing by Peace Officer
The defendant's suspended sentence may be conditioned upon a peace officer requesting that the defendant submit to random drug testing any time of the day or night, with or without a warrant, at the request of any peace officer.
Follow Substance Abuse Counselor's Recommendations
While attending counseling, the defendant may be required to follow the substance abuse counselor's recommendations. For example, if the counselor requires the defendant to attend Alcoholic Anonymous ("AA") classes, then the defendant must attend AA classes.
The SCRAM is an ankle bracelet which monitors a person's alcohol content 24 hours a day. The SCRAM not only has the ability to determine whether a person has consumed alcohol, but whether a person has tampered with the device. If either of these things occurs, then it could be a potential violation of the defendant's sentence and he or she may get revoked. Questions regarding the SCRAM should be directed to Intercept at (775) 323-8273, 501 Casazza Dr, Reno, NV 89502 or contact DAS.
Public Defender Reimbursement
The Court may order a defendant to pay all or any part of the expenses incurred by the County. Generally, the Public Defender reimbursement fee ranges from $0 to $250 or more. The defendant must contact Washoe County Collection Division, (77) 328-2552, P.O. Box 11130/1001 E 9th St. Room D-120, Reno, NV 89512. It is important to note, a person can not be criminally penalized for not paying their public defender fee. However, the County may pursue payment in a civil court of law.
1Court Standards for DUI 1st Offense: 30 to 90 days Washoe County Jail suspended; Fines and costs totaling $695; 48 hours of jail or community service; Victim Impact Panel; DUI Classes; and revocation of driver's license for 90 days. Court Standards for DUI 2nd Offense: 180 days Washoe County Jail suspended; Fines and costs totaling $945; 10 days Jail or 20 days house arrest; DUI Classes depending on evaluation; Victim Impact Panel; Other possibilities include Department of Alternative Sentencing/Court Compliance Program; and the Interlock device.