On November 8 2016 recreational use of cannabis became legal in Nevada for adults 21 years of age or older. Although possession is legal you can receive a Nevada Cannabis DUI if driving after consumption. As a matter of fact you may even receive one if you have used within days of being tested. Find important information regarding Nevada marijuana laws and operating a motor vehicle.
Can I Get A Cannabis DUI In Nevada?
The short answer is yes! Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime and is comparable to a DUI of alcohol. Nevada DUI laws define a person as under the influence of marijuana in the following ways.
- the driver’s blood contains 2 nano-grams per ml. of marijuana (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) or 5 nano-grams per ml. of marijuana metabolite (11-OH-tetrahydrocannabinol).
- Cannabis has impaired the drivers ability to operate a motor vehicle safely determined by a Field Sobriety Test which can include the following:
- the driver’s pupils are dilated
- standing on one leg
- walking a straight line
- odor of marijuana in car or on person
- eyelid or body tremors
- driver’s behavior is uninhibited
- short-term memory impairment
An officer with specialized drug recognition evaluation training (DRE) may be called to determine the following
- driver’s blood pressure
- if he/she has dry mouth.
If the DRE believes there is probable cause that the driver committed a cannabis DUI they will arrest and request a blood test.
Currently Nevada law does not differentiate penalties for marijuana-impaired driving from alcohol-impaired driving per NRS 484C . A driver does not necessarily have to be “high” or intoxicated to be liable. As long as the driver’s blood contains the minimum prohibited amount while the driver is operating a vehicle, the law deems it “illegal per se” even if the driver is driving safely.
Can The Blood Test Be Refused?
Yes you can refuse but refusing a blood test carries harsh consequences such as a 1 year automatic license suspension. Law enforcement can also request a warrant from the court to test your blood. If the test comes back positive you can be charged for both a DUI and Refusal to take the test.
What Are The Penalties For A Nevada Cannabis DUI?
Driving while stoned or high is no different from drunk driving and the following penalties apply for first time offense.
- two (2) days to six (6) months in jail or twenty-four to ninety-six (24 – 96) hours of community service (courts typically order a six (6) month suspended jail sentence.
- Nevada DUI school (at the person’s expense);
- fines of $400 to $1,000 plus court costs
- Nevada Victim Impact Panel;
- ninety (90) days suspension of driver’s license (drivers can usually can get a restricted license after forty-five (45) days)
- a stay-out-of-trouble order while the case is open (meaning the driver may not get any further arrests)
- Purchase a SR22 Insurance Policy
For a second offense in 7 year time period:
- ten (10) days to six (6) months in jail or residential confinement
- fines of $750 to $1,000 or commensurate hours of community service
- Nevada Victim Impact Panel
- DUI School
- Purchase SR22 Insurance
- An alcohol/drug dependency evaluation
- a long alcohol or drug abuse treatment program
Third offense in 7 year time period:
- DUI incident within the last seven (7) years is prosecuted as a category B felony
- one to six (1 – 6) years in Nevada State Prison
- fines of $2,000 to $5,000
- Nevada Victim Impact Panel
- three (3) year driver’s license suspension or revocation
- An alcohol & drug evaluation
Drive High Get A DUI
When most people think of impaired driving, they assume all incidents involve alcohol. But, the truth is marijuana impairment behind the wheel is just as deadly as drunk driving. As recreational marijuana use becomes more common in Nevada, we need to work together to keep impairment off our roads. The typical cost for a first time DUI in Nevada is $15,000 after including fines, car insurance, DUI schools