Do you have to be driving a traditional car, SUV or truck to be subject to Nevada’s DUI laws? Can you be convicted of DUI while operating a moped on your cul-de-sac or a golf cart in your private/gated community? The answers to these questions surprise most people.
This blog will be divided into two parts: Part 1 will examine the types of vehicles that are subject to Nevada’s DUI law and Part 2 will examine the types of roadways that are subject to Nevada’s DUI law.
Nevada’s DUI Law Defined
Nevada’s DUI law makes it unlawful to drive or be in actual physical control of a “vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access.” Any time an individual gets behind a motor vehicle while intoxicated they are putting themselves at risk of being charged with a DUI, while also putting innocent pedestrians at risk of needing a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. Part 1 of this blog requires an analysis of what constitutes a “vehicle” under Nevada’s DUI law. Part 2 of this blog will involve an analysis of what constitutes a “highway” and “premises to which the public has access.”
The Definition of Vehicle
Nevada statutory law defines “vehicle” as “every device in, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except . . . devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails . . . and electric personal assistive mobility devices.” This broad definition provides a very flexible meaning of “vehicle.”
Although there is no Nevada Supreme Court decision providing any further guidance or interpretation, the Nevada Attorney General has issued an opinion indicating that a horse would not qualify as a “device” under Nevada’s DUI law. Thus, while trains, horses, electric wheel chairs, skateboards and bicycles (human-powered) can certainly be excluded from the definition of “vehicle,” any other nonhuman-powered “device” that can transport a person or property would appear to qualify as a “vehicle” under Nevada’s DUI law.
It, therefore, appears likely that a prosecutor would feel confident charging a citizen with DUI under circumstances where the citizen was only accused of operating a moped or golf cart. The foregoing example of “grey-area” within Nevada’s DUI laws is the precise reason you should contact an experienced and educated DUI attorney in connection with your DUI charge.
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