It’s March, and with the start of Spring comes the start of March Madness – a single-elimination college basketball tournament where one team out of 68 plays for the coveted National Championship trophy.
Outside of New Years and CES, March Madness is one of the busiest travel times in Las Vegas, Nevada. Locals and tourists pour into the city to party at their favorite sports bar, restaurant, casino, or friend’s house in order to watch all of the action. While everyone socializes together and continues to have a good time, many people indulge in one too many drinks. At the end of each day, every one of these individuals must make the conscious decision of how to drive home, and even tougher, if they are sober enough to make it home.
Every day, almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. This equates to one person every 50 minutes. About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver… and even though drunk-driving fatalities have fallen throughout the last three decades, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year.
The City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers know that many make the irresponsible decision of getting behind the wheel during this time. This is exactly why extra shifts are added and many more police officers patrol the streets as a means to protect and prevent alcohol-related accidents and injuries. Many times, DUI checkpoints are initiated to help prevent and catch drunk-drivers. This however, increases one’s chances of getting a DUI (driving under the influence) and getting arrested.
Nevada has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This means, that if one hits this percentage or higher when tested, they are considered alcohol impaired by law and are subject to arrest (i.e., drunk drivers) for driving under the influence. Depending on the person, body weight, and duration of consumption, this may only be a couple of alcoholic drinks. A BAC level this high can affect the body in many ways ranging from poor muscle coordination (i.e., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, & hearing), poor judgement, loss of self-control & reasoning, and also impaired memory & perception.
DUIs are considered as misdemeanors – a criminal offense for which a defendant can be sentenced to jail. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, a DUI charge can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, with potential jail or prison time. Sentencing can also include probation, a fine, DUI school, and license suspension.
In addition to being dangerous, DUIs are very expensive as well. Costs can reach upwards of $10,000 in fines and fees if you are hit with one. If you are convicted, a DUI misdemeanor stays on your record for 7 years. If you get a felony DUI conviction, it stays on for life. This can hinder you from getting jobs or additional services. These are just more reasons one should prevent DUIs at all costs.
You need to be aware of your sobriety before hitting the road, and there are many precautions you can take to prevent a DUI. For starters, always designate a non-drinking driver if possible. Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Prevention is the best remedy. If you have been drinking, get a ride home from a sober friend, request a taxi, or call an Uber/Lyft. It’s not worth the risk. If you’re hosting a party, remind your guests to plan ahead, make sure they don’t get behind the wheel drunk, offer alcohol-free beverages in addition, and make sure your guests leave with a sober driver or ridesharing service.
In the event you do make the mistake and receive a DUI, promptly consult our law office to help with your case. DUI misdemeanors can have serious repercussions in your life and personal record, and a good attorney can help you minimize any personal damages that may arise in the event of this unfortunate circumstance.
So make sure this March you enjoy the Madness only at your party and keep it away from the roads. Be safe, enjoy the games responsibly, and make the right decision to only get behind the wheel when you are sober.
The Law of Office of Michael A. Troiano is a Las Vegas firm that specializes in the area of criminal defense and represents clients within a wide variety of criminal matters, including those charged with misdemeanors, gross-misdemeanors, and felonies. Services range from assault & battery, burglary, domestic violence, drug charges, homicide, and traffic-related issues to name a few. The firm also places special emphasis on Driving Under the Influence “DUI” defense, and has handled over 1,000 DUI cases.