Once again, in Nevada, there are four ways that your driver’s license can be revoked in connection with a DUI arrest: (1) an administrative revocation for having an unlawful (“per se”) level of alcohol in your system; (2) an administrative revocation for having a detectable amount of street drugs (prohibited substance) or a detectable amount of a controlled substance in your system (without a valid prescription); (3) an administrative revocation for refusing to submit to an evidentiary test; and (4) a criminal conviction revocation. This blog is meant to address “detectable amount” administrative revocations. Nevada law provides:
[i]f the result of a test given under NRS 484C.150 or 484C.160 shows that a person had a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath or a detectable amount of a controlled substance or prohibited substance in his or her blood or urine for which he or she did not have a valid prescription . . . or hold a valid registry identification card . . . at the time of the test, the license, permit or privilege of the person to drive must be revoked . . . for a period of 90 days.
The plain meaning of the words “detectable amount” includes any quantity, however small, which can be discerned by accepted methods of analysis. “Detectable amount” revocations are fairly cut and dry. Nevada will administratively revoke your privileges to drive for a period of 90 days if your forensic toxicology report provides one of three opinions: (1) an opinion that you had a “detectable amount” of a prescription drug in your blood without possessing a valid prescription to use the specific drug (on the date of the arrest); (2) an opinion that you had a “detectable amount” of THC in your blood without possessing a valid registry identification card (medical marijuana card) on the date of the arrest; and/or (3) an opinion that you had a “detectable amount” of any “street drug” in your blood (other than THC). You can “defense” (win) a “detectable amount” revocation case by having either a prescription for the prescription drug you are alleged to have been under the influence of or having a medical marijuana registration card if you are alleged to have been under the influence of THC. These defenses apply regardless of the level of the substance in your system. Obviously, there is no defense to having a “detectable amount” of street drugs in your system as such drugs are illegal and cannot be prescribed at any level. The length of “detectable amount” license revocations is as follows:
|ADMINISTRATIVE “DETECTABLE AMOUNT” LICENSE REVOCATIONS|
|SUBSTANCE||Length of Administrative Revocation Period||Administrative Defense||Total Length of Revocation Period|
|Street Drugs (any “detectable amount”)||90 Days||None||90 Days|
|THC (any “detectable amount”)||90 Days||Valid Registration Card||90 Days|
|Prescription Drugs (any “detectable amount” without “a valid prescription”)||90 Days||Valid Prescription||90 Days|