Friday, March 18, 2016

We all know DUI is bad, but what if you get more than one?

Sometimes Good People Make Poor Decisions

...and sometimes, people mess up more than once. 

"To err is human", as the old saying goes, but what happens to you if you've "erred" more than once with regard to DUI?

Aside from wondering if inanimate objects around your home are secretly giving you judgmental looks...
OOOoooo! You Nasty Man!!
... you may find yourself in serious trouble with the Courts. Everything in life is (or is supposed to be) a balance. For every "give" there is likely a commensurate "take". What that means here in Las Vegas is that our 'round-the-clock bars, clubs and casinos come at the cost of incredibly harsh punishments for driving under the influence of alcohol (among other things).

So what options are there - aside from a harsh prison sentence - for repeat DUI Offenders in Vegas? 


In Nevada, if you get arrested for DUI 3 times within 7 years, you will be facing Felony charges and you stand a good chance of actually going to prison. However there is one option - Felony DUI Court. 

Felony DUI Court is a lengthy, intensive and (I'm not going to lie to you) very expensive program. It is not fun, however, depending on your preferences, you may want it over communal showers, government issued clothing and a mattress that's as thin as a matzah.

Although the SOP (Serious Offender Program) might be able to keep you out of prison, it is very strict. People who enroll in, or are sentenced to SOP can expect to:

  • Be on house arrest for at least 6 months at the beginning of the program. During this time you will wear a GPS enabled ankle monitor and will only be allowed to leave your home during certain times of the day and only for certain reasons. You may go to work, court, a doctor, or a grocery store, for example, but you should expect to keep a written log detailing, down to the minute, where you've gone. You will likely also be expected to keep receipts of any store you visit as proof that you were actually there. You also must pay to be on house arrest. Fees range from $6-$20 per day for this.

  • Be under Prohibition. As you can probably expect, if you are in serious trouble for alcohol-related crimes, the Court is NOT going to let you drink. At all. Not one drop. To that end, you may be required to wear a SCRAM bracelet. 
    This ain't Louis Vuitton
    This fancy little device attaches to your ankle. (You know, the other ankle, since you'll already have your GPS House Arrest bracelet on one already.) The SCRAM bracelet tests your skin and sweat for any alcohol coming from you and it WILL detect if you have ANYTHING to drink. Included inconveniences: you must sit near a power outlet for three hours each day to recharge the SCRAM bracelet; you must physically report to the SCRAM office three times per week so they can download the stored data, and you must pay a daily fee to wear the SCRAM bracelet. 

  • have a Breath Interlock Device (BID) installed on your vehicle. You must pay for this device's installation and you must pay a monthly fee for the privilege of having it in your car. You must blow into this device each and every time you start your car (say goodbye to mouthwash with alcohol in it). If you think you're going to be sneaky, don't; the BID also has a camera installed, so having someone else blow into the device is not an option. You must also sign a document in which you agree that you WILL NOT DRIVE any other car. If you are caught driving a vehicle not equipped with a BID, you will be found in violation of the program and likely sentenced to prison. 

  • attend weekly private counseling with a court-approved therapist or psychiatrist. This is at your own expense. 

  • be required to attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week.

  • be required to make weekly appearances in Court in the form of a "Status Check". This means that, once a week, you will have to stand in front of the Judge while s/he reviews your records provided by the SCRAM and BID and your counselors to make sure you haven't committed any violations. If there is a violation, you should hire legal representation to accompany you to Court to try and explain the violation and avoid prison time. 

  • be required to abide by a curfew. This means that if your GPS ankle monitor shows that you're away from home after your curfew, they will come arrest you.

So, how long does this program last? 

(you may want to sit down.....)


O.     M.     G.

You can expect to pay, overall, in the ballpark of $11,000 - $15,000 over the course of three years to be on this program. 

Is it better than going to prison? Well, that's for you to decide. SOP and its little brother MOP (Moderate Offenders Program) are expensive, embarrassing, inconvenient and extremely stressful. 

Even though I am a criminal defense attorney who makes money defending the accused in court, I would be extremely happy if everyone reading this blog would make a commitment to yourself that you will simply NEVER drive after you've been drinking and that when you plan on partying, you include a Designated Driver in your plans. 

It's simply not worth it. 

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, feel free to give my office a call at:

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