Helping Your Teen Understand Nevada’s Driving Laws
So, your child has finally reached that point in his or her life where they haven’t quite hit adulthood, but they’re beginning to become eligible for privileges under Nevada law. Given that car accidents in Las Vegas are a common occurrence, handing over the keys to your son or daughter can be quite harrowing. It can help both you and your child review Nevada’s driving laws and the potential consequences if caught violating them. Though the Schnitzer Law Firm stands ready as the top personal injury law firm in Las Vegas for you, hopefully, these tips will make it less likely that your teen will require an injury lawyer in Las Vegas!
It goes without saying that driving with no license is illegal. As a matter of fact, the date at which your teen will be legally eligible for a license gets pushed back if they are convicted of this!
Your teen is eligible for a supervised driver’s permit when they turn exactly 15 and a half years old. The parent(s) must apply with a minor under 18 years of age, and the teen will need to take a written skills test as well as a vision test to get their permit. Remember, the state of Nevada requires that people under 18 applying for a permit is either enrolled in high school or have graduated!
Nevada requires that teen drivers first document 50 practice hours (at least 10 of which are at night) before a license can be granted. Even if it’s a parent, the person supervising the teen with a permit must have held a license for more than one year and be over 21.
Though this requirement is usually fulfilled at any high school automatically, all teens must complete a 30-hour driver’s education program before they’re eligible for a license. Finally, a provisional license can only be given to someone who is at least 16, and the teen can not have gotten any moving violations or been found to be at-fault in an accident during the permit period.
Provisional License Rules
As long as your teen is under 18, they are not allowed to have other passengers also under 18 for the first six months; there is an exception for immediate family members. Nevada has a notably strict curfew for teen drivers; they are not permitted to drive between 10 PM and 5 AM unless it is to a school event or work.
If all goes well, your teen will be eligible to apply for an unrestricted license the day they turn 18. These rules will not apply at that point.
Alcohol and Drugs
Many teens choose to experiment with drugs and/or alcohol. Though it may not seem intuitive, many states, including Nevada, have a so-called “use it or lose it” law regarding underage drinking. Separate from DUI laws, your teen’s license could be revoked if they violate this rule.
In Nevada, under NRS 202.020, it is a misdemeanor for anyone under the age of 21 to publicly possess alcohol. There are exceptions, such as if the alcohol is consumed with parents or if it’s consumed in specific private locations. The penalty for violation for anyone under 21 is up to 6 months’ confinement and/or $1,000 in fines.
Though minors under 18 will only face juvenile court and can only be found “delinquent” rather than “guilty,” only people under 18 can lose their licenses for both attempting to purchase or purchasing alcohol while under 21 and for publicly possessing alcohol, regardless of who bought it. This loss of license is anywhere from 9 months to 24 months. Unlike most states, evidence of the sole consumption of alcohol does not trigger this penalty in Nevada.
Driving Under the Influence
As most know, the BAC limit for people of a state’s legal drinking age in the US is generally .08. However, for people under 21, Nevada sets the cap at .02. If your teen is found to be driving while at a BAC level higher than this, they’ll face a fine between $400 and $1,000 or the equivalent in community service and a suspended jail sentence.
Should the BAC of anyone under 21 be above .02 but less than .08, a first-time offender’s license is suspended for 90 days. If the BAC level is above .08, penalties in terms of license loss are the same as adults face, progressively going from 185 days to 1 year to 3 years. Note that an SR-22 is required for a minimum of 3 years for even the first conviction of driving with a BAC above .08 (as if teen insurance weren’t already expensive enough!).
Generally speaking, the presence of other intoxicants, such as THC and illegal drugs, will be treated identically to the adult version of the charge.
Though your teen driver should be familiar with Nevada’s traffic laws, here are some of the most important ones for them to remember.
It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving. Fines progress from $50 to $100 to $250 and are doubled if the offense occurs in a work zone. Though no demerit points are given the first time someone is caught, it’s 4 license points thereafter.
Speeding is a common offense, given the vast open nature of many roads in the state. Technically, going even 1 mph over the limit is a misdemeanor, but jail would only be a consequence for an exceedingly egregious offense. Fines can be set at up to $20 per mph over the limit.
Points are generally assigned for any speeding ticket other than most minor offenses on rural, high-speed roads (when up to 10 mph over the limit in a 60 or 65 mph speed zone and up to 5 mph over the limit in a 70, 75, or 80 mph speed zone during the day).
Every parent hopes that their teen will acclimate well in society and abide by the rules of the road. If your teen is accused of almost any traffic infraction, it could lead to their license being revoked or other exceedingly harsh penalties. Regardless, you should talk to esteemed lawyers in the field, such as the Schnitzer Law Firm. You can send us a message here, email us at Contact@TheSchnitzerLawFirm.com, or call us at 702-960-4050 24/7!