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 “refusal” administrative revocations.  As you will read below, the duration of the revocation period hinges upon the number of your prior refusals.  Nevada’s “refusal” law provides as follows:


[i]f a person fails to submit to an evidentiary test as requested by a police officer pursuant to NRS 484C.160, the license, permit or privilege to drive of the person must be revoked as provided in NRS 484C.220, and the person is not eligible for a license, permit or privilege to drive for a period of . . . [o]ne year . . .

The duration of the specific license revocation depends on whether you have prior offenses:


Number of Prior Refusals (within the seven preceding years)


Length of Administrative Revocation Period

Zero 1 Year
One or More 3 Years

Nevada law is particularly harsh towards refusals.  The Nevada Supreme Court construes Nevada’s implied consent law liberally in order to further the legislative policy of removing intoxicated drivers from Nevada highways.  Because the right to counsel does not attach in implied consent situations, any response conditioned upon you obtaining the advice of an attorney amounts to a refusal to take the test.  This means that simply asking to speak with a lawyer can constitute a refusal.  Moreover, even if you voluntarily submit to a test, a subsequent failure to provide adequate samples constitutes a refusal under Nevada law.

Next, the implied consent statute does not require an express, unequivocal refusal before the individual’s license may be revoked.  An individual who conditions his consent upon speaking with his attorney, or being examined by his physician, prior to submitting to an evidentiary test, may have his license revoked for refusal to submit to a test.   Additionally, once a driver refuses to take any one of the chemical tests, the law does not give the driver the chance to withdrawal his refusal and later consent.  Once you refuse, you are deemed to have refused, regardless of subsequent statements or conduct.  Indeed, whether the declination is accomplished by verbally saying, “I refuse,” or by remaining silent and just not breathing or blowing into the machine, or by vocalizing some sort of qualified or conditional consent or refusal, does not make a difference.  An eventual consent to submit to an evidentiary test did not vitiate a prior refusal.  Moreover, an officer has no duty to renew an offer of testing after it has been refused.

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