Despite efforts by communities and governments to deter it, drunk driving kills thousands of people every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 people in the United States die every day as the result of an alcohol-impaired driver. In Las Vegas, a significant number of car accidents involve a driver who is drunk. Drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries and even death.
Drunk Driving in Nevada
Under Nevada’s DUI laws, someone is considered to be driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above within two hours of driving. Someone can also be otherwise under the influence of alcohol or drugs and considered to be a DUI. A person is “under the influence” if they are impaired to the degree that they cannot safely drive. For commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21, the BAC requirements for a DUI are lower. Commercial drivers with a BAC of .04% or above are considered DUI. Underage drivers can be cited for a DUI with a BAC of .02% or above. Nevada is an implied consent state, which means that drivers arrested for a DUI must submit to a blood, urine, or breath test. Failure to comply can result in a license suspension.
Proving the Driver in Your Accident Was Drunk
A drunk driver’s fault for an accident can be proven using the same evidence available in a criminal case. This evidence can include:
- Failure of a field sobriety test
- Failure of a blood, breath, or urine test establishing BAC
- Testimony of witnesses about the driver’s condition (i.e., smelled like alcohol, stumbling, slurring words)
- Statements made by the driver
If the drunk driver pleads guilty or is convicted of a DUI offense, this can be helpful evidence of their liability. However, even without a conviction, you may still be able to pursue a civil case.
Liability of Others
In some rare cases, entities other than the drunk driver may be held liable for the accident. Unlike many states., Nevada has a very limited dram shop law. A dram shop law holds a person liable for the actions of a drunk driver if they served or furnished alcohol to them. In Nevada, a person who serves alcohol to someone who is 21 years or older cannot be held liable for that person’s actions. Under Nevada law, a social host (not a bar or restaurant) can be held liable for the actions of a drunk driver if that driver was under 21 years of age, and the social host knowingly served them alcohol or allowed the driver to consume alcohol on their premises. This is also known as social host liability.
Contact a Nevada Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. For over 50 years, the attorneys at GGRM have been helping the victims of car accidents in Nevada. To set up your free consultation, contact us online or call us at 702-978-7641 today.