Basics of DUI in Nevada: Admission of Evidence

Under the Nevada law, if you (a driver) a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or .04 (particularly commercial drivers), you’re legally considered impaired, and it’s illegal to control or drive any vehicle. You can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs with a lesser BAC level.

To have the probable cause to put you under arrest, a police officer should observe you driving before a traffic stop. Once stopped, the officer by observing for erratic behavior, the smell of alcohol and other illegal substances, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech to determine if there is a sufficient probable cause to arrest you.

The officer can also request you to exit the vehicle to administer the necessary field sobriety test to support all suspicions that you were driving or in control of a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Note that the results of field sobriety tests are not admissible evidence in a court of law. However, the arresting officer can use these result to support the suspicion that you are impaired, and that can lead to an arrest.

Evidence

According to the Las Vegas Defense Group, one of the reputable criminal defense law firms in Nevada, the evidence for DUI cases varies. After being arrested, the officer will request that you subject yourself to breath, blood or urine tests which may determine whether or not you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The results associated with these tests are often, but not always, admissible evidence.

If you refuse to submit to the aforementioned evidentiary tests, things might go south. For instance, the evidence of your refusal is admissible in any administrative or criminal action arising out of your alleged acts while you were in actual control of a vehicle or driving while intoxicated or under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or any other controlled substance. Besides, the court might not exclude evidence of a required test or refusal to submit to a test if the officer who arrested you complied with the various provisions listed in the chemical testing statute.

However, there are instances when evidence of a requested test is not admissible in an administrative or criminal proceeding. If it’s not shown by documentary or other evidence that the officer (and the law enforcement agency) effectively calibrated the breath-test device and maintained it according to the guidelines set by the Committee on Testing for intoxication, the evidence will not be admissible.

For the test results to be considered acceptable evidence, the blood test must be performed by a medical practitioner, not the arresting officer. This medical practitioner might be a physician assistant, licensed practical nurse, phlebotomist, registered nurse, emergency medical practitioner, an assistant employed in a medical lab, or a doctor. He or she must have specialized knowledge, training, experience, and education regarding withdrawing blood in acceptable ways and perform the test effectively.

All the provisions discussed here should be maintained for any DUI evidence to be admissible in a court of law.