DUI’s Scarlet Letter



DUI Offenders Carry the Scarlet Letters


What does Ohio and Nathaniel Hawthorne have in common? Both use the scarlet letter to convey a message of shame and embarrassment. The red-letter license plates became mandatory for Ohioan DUI offenders on January 1, 2014, although have been issued since 1967 as a means to publicly identify drunk drivers. The plates serve the purpose of warning both motorists and law enforcement officers to be alert for drivers with a history of driving under the influence. Georgia enacted a similar law in 2013, but the law specifies numbers, not colors, making it harder to identify DUI offenders with a history.

In Ohio, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are grouped under the umbrella heading of Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI). According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 8,330 OVI Enforcements in 2016, and that many and then some during the first four months of 2017. Ohio also has the Habitual Offender Registry that lists DUI offenders with a total five convictions or more for OVI (or equivalent) within 20 years. At least one conviction must be after the law went into effect on September 30, 2008. Being on this list allows the public to see your name, date of birth, home address, and your OVI convictions. Your information remains on this list until you no longer have 5 convictions for OVI within the past 20 years.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) publishes a list of DUI-related statistics that will shock most people:

  • Drunk driving costs the U.S. $132 billion per year and each adult in this country almost $500 per year.
  • 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.
  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
  • On average, one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.
  • Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.
  • In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes, one every 51 minutes.
  • Almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
  • About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

In a CBS article of the states with the highest DUI arrests that do not include fatalities, Ohio ranked 14th. North Dakota was #1, with a rate of drinking and driving significantly higher than the national rate – 988 out of 1,000 people admitted to alcohol-impaired driving. Are the scarlet letter/number tag, offender registry and other programs effective deterrents to drunk driving, or could a bright yellow tag with bright red letters be more effective in alerting law enforcement and increasing DUI arrests? What about states with license plates already showing red lettering? Opponents of Ohio’s “scarlet letter” plates – mainly those forced to carry them on their cars – feel that individuals are unfairly marginalized or embarrassed because of their easily-recognized status as DUI offenders. That is precisely the point.

The sobering details of driving drunk or drugged


More than 1,000,000 Americans have been killed in vehicle crashes caused by drunk or drugged drivers over the past half a century.

According to the CDC, since 1966, more Americans were killed by drunk drivers than the total number of American soldiers killed in ALL American Wars except the Civil War.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk   friends_dont_friends

Drunk and drugged drivers often don’t remember the details of a crash because at BAC levels over the legal limit of 0.018 memory is impaired. Once they become sober again and are informed of the results of their actions, they can feel remorseful, especially if they kill someone or they themselves end up injured.  Convicted DUI offenders have to deal with jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, and they will need to attend a DUI course such as the ones offered by ABC Drive Safe, which could take up 8 to 72 hours of their time.  It is estimated that a first-time DUI conviction costs over $6,000 – add $40,000 if the crash results in a death

So, how do you intervene to prevent an unnecessary tragedy or your friend from getting a DUI?  Above anything else, don’t let your friends or family members drive while under the influence.  If counseling a friend, try and use a soft, calm approach at first. Suggest to them that they’ve had too much to drink and it would be better if someone else drove or if they took a taxi or ride-share.

When talking to a friend about drunk or drugged driving, be calm. You can even joke about it to make it sound like you are doing them a favor.

If you are talking to a good friend, spouse, or significant other, tell them that if they insist on driving, you are not going with them. Suggest that you will call someone for a ride, even if it is a taxi.

If it is somebody you don’t know well, speak to their friends and have them make an attempt to persuade the impaired person to hand over the keys so they do not get a DUI. Locate their keys while they are preoccupied and take them away. Most likely, they will think they’ve lost them and will be forced to find another mode of transportation. If possible, avoid embarrassing the person or being confrontational, particularly when dealing with men. This makes them appear vulnerable to alcohol and its effects and in some cases they may become combative. If all else fails and the impaired driver won’t listen, call the police to prevent a possible tragedy.

Not letting your friends and loved ones drive drunk or drugged is one of the best life decisions to make, avoiding the stress of dealing with the DUI process.

Cues Used by Law Enforcement in Recognizing a Potentially Drunk Driver

  • Problems Maintaining Proper Lane Position
  • Swerving
  • Drifting across lanes
  • Straddling a lane line
  • Weaving across lane lines
  • Turning with a wide radius
  • Almost striking a vehicle or other object

Speed and Braking Problems

  • Stopping problems (too far, too short, or too jerky)
  • Accelerating or decelerating for no obvious or apparent reason.
  • Inconsistent speed
  • Slow speed -10 mph or more under the posted speed limit.
  • Crashing into another vehicle, tree, rock, house and most anything else.

Vigilance Problems

  • Driving in opposing lanes or the wrong way on one-way street
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
  • Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
  • Driving without headlights at night
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

driving drunk can cost upwards of $10,000 dollars

Judgment Problems

  • Following too closely
  • Improper or unsafe lane change
  • Illegal or improper turn
  • Driving on other than the designated roadway
  • Stopping inappropriately in response to officer
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior (littering, arguing, etc.)

Post Stop Cues

  • Difficulty with motor vehicle controls
  • Difficulty exiting the vehicle
  • Fumbling with driver’s license or registration
  • Repeating questions or comments
  • Swaying, lack of coordination, unsteady or  balance problems
  • Failure to signal or signal inconsistent with action

Post Stop Cues Continued

  • Leaning on the vehicle or other object
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow to respond to officer or if an officer must repeat the instructions
  • Providing incorrect information or changes answers
  • Odor of alcoholic beverage from the driver
  • Driving without headlights at night

If a driver exhibits any of these signs to a law enforcement officer, they will be scrutinized much more closely.  A trained and experienced  law enforcement officer will be able to quickly assess if a driver is intoxicated and driving under the influence. It’s not one sign that leads an officer to determine if a driver is impaired, but typically there will be several indications of impairment. But, even one sign is enough of a cause to be evaluated for intoxication.

The second the officer realizes someone is impaired from drugs or alcohol is the second a drunk or drugged driver starts the process of incarceration and hefty fines. Our Level 1 DUI courses meet the DMV and court requirements for drug and alcohol education – contact us and let us help you!

100 Deadliest Days



Distracted Teens and the 100 Deadliest Days


study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Examine Teen Driver Behaviors Present in Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2007-2015”, produced important data to examine behaviors and potential contributing factors in the seconds leading up to the automobile collision. The study attempted to identify those crashes that teens are most frequently involved in as well as the distractions or competing activities that are most often being engaged in leading up to these crashes.

Distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes studied, which is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. According to the report, experts believe that the government statistics derived from police reports substantially underestimate the prevalence of driver distraction.

The study confirmed that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also finds a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media use are on the rise amongst teen drivers.

Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer months, that are included in the “100 Deadliest Days”, that begin the count on Memorial Day.  According to the report, teens drive more during this time of year.

Over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:

  • An average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers
  • The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 increased by 16 percent per day compared to other days of the year

Of particular interest was the increase in rear-end crashes for the teens in this study, which were associated with an increase in operating/looking at the cell phone as well as an increase in the time spent engaging in this activity. Other distractions range from eating to looking at a billboard on the side of the road to thinking about a conversation with a friend, really anything that can take a driver’s hands, eyes or mind off the road. For teens, distracted driving has been identified as a particularly large problem. The latest government statistics indicate that, in 2014, 10% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash (NHTSA, 2016). Proportionally, this is more than any other age group.

Inexperience, overconfidence, social pressure, a tendency to underestimate risk, and to engage more often in risky behaviors are other factors confronting the teen driver. Any or all may increase the chance of young drivers engaging in distracted driving, and if they do, make it more likely that their distraction will have an unfavorable outcome

The top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash:

  • Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
  • Talking, texting or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
  • Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes

The trend suggests that more research must be conducted in the area of cell phone use and whether technology can be effective in mitigating crashes that involve teens.

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season.  Read the full report here.

Drivers believe they can multi-task while driving

no_textingTexting while driving is illegal in all 50 states. The AAA reports results of their study that using voice commands to send text messages and emails from behind the wheel, is actually more distracting and dangerous than simply talking on a cellphone. In the State of Nevada, you may NOT talk on a phone, by holding it to your ear, or read or send text messages, emails, or other forms of electronic communication, while you are behind the wheel operating a motor vehicle.  The only exception to this is if you are using a Bluetooth device.  If you are cited for cell phone use, you are charged with a misdemeanor, and must pay a fine of $50 for the first offense.  DMV is instructed by this law, not to treat this first offense as a moving violation.  You must wait 7 years for this violation to drop from your record, or, if you are charged a second time during that 7 years, you must pay $100 and DMV will treat it as a moving violation.  The third time you are caught talking/texting while driving, during that 7 year period, the fine is $250.  These fines may double if you are tagged in a designated work zone. Receiving a reckless driving conviction from texting while driving in Nevada can result in being required to take a DUI course such as those offered by ABC Drive Safe.

In today’s demanding world, the majority of drivers believe that they can do two or more jugglingtasks at the same time while driving. Multitasking while driving was reported by a 2008 study at Virginia Tec that found that drivers who text message while behind the wheel are 32 times more likely to be involved in a car crash.

Consider another fact: studies have also found that drivers who text face a slowed reaction time by 35%, which is 3 times longer than the reaction time of drunk drivers. Having a cell phone conversation while you’re driving or text messaging has become the nation’s  deadliest driving distraction. Thousands of people die each year because someone thought that a message had to be sent right then.  The results: texting or using voice commands is more distracting than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The CDC pushes statistics that show over 424,000 accidents from injuries drivers, compared to 9,967 injuries from drunk driving.

Scientific studies have confirmed that even talking on a hands-free cell phone is just as distracting as holding one to your ear. This strongly suggests it is the conversation that is distracting. Interestingly, studies have also found that a conversation with a passenger did not distract the driver unless they were under the age of 24.

Nationally, 45% of fatal crashes in 2010 involved a driver talking on a hands-free or Bluetooth device. If you are compelled to have a conversation, pull over to the side of the road and take the 2 or 3 minutes to have a coherent conversation with the person on the other end of the phone.  Place your cell phone out of reach so you won’t be tempted to answer while driving.

It has been estimated by some researchers that for every mile that a vehicle travels, the driver will on average make 20 separate decisions related to arriving at their destination. Therefore it makes sense that the faster you go, the quicker you have to make driving decisions or completely overlook a critical decision entirely.  It should be self-evident that impaired drivers also tend to make poor or no decisions while their car is in motion. Military pilots are trained not to focus on any one object for more than a second.  But, drivers are not. Known as “Target Fixation“, it is common for a driver’s eyes to narrow their focus on a single object for a period of time, ignoring everything else on the road. An example of this is focusing on the license plate of the vehicle in front for several seconds. When focused on any single object for an extended length of time  is known as a loss of Situational Awareness.” Driving is not an intermittent activity, but requires 100% of your attention while the car is in motion.  When you are focused on one object for more than a second or two, you become a real hazard to everyone else on the road. Research has demonstrated that the majority of vehicle crashes will happen when a driver’s eyes are distracted from the road for  3 secs or more. So, how long is 3 secs?  Just 6 snaps of your fingers.

When you look away from the road for a couple of moments, it can take you up to several seconds to reacquire situational awareness. Situational awareness is defined as the perception of the environment you are driving in at that moment and the understanding of what is happening, while able to predict what changes on the road may happen in the next few seconds.

Auto Insurance NOT Optional


If you drive a vehicle on Nevada roads, it MUST be insured. Even if you don’t drive a vehicle on Nevada roads, you have it stored in a garage, for example, it must be insured or else you must turn in the vehicle’s plates to the DMV.

Automobile insurance is expensive. This is a fact of life!  Nevada requires that automobile liability insurance policies carry minimum coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident; $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and $10,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

If you think about it, $15,000 for bodily injury of another person will only cover the basics like the ambulance and assistance received at the crash site. If the injured victim has medical expenses that exceed $15,000, it is entirely possible for that individual to bring a lawsuit against you to recover the additional medical expenses not covered by your automobile insurance.


While medical insurance for a driver is not mandatory in Nevada, it is wise to get coverage. Why? Say you were injured in a motor vehicle crash and you have inadequate private medical insurance. You will be held responsible for all medical care provided.

The cost of the emergency room services does not include the cost of the ambulance, doctors and other medical specialists.  The legal minimum of $15,000 bodily injury coverage, therefore, may not be adequate to cover a major injury.

ER picture for DUI Class blog regarding SR-22 DUI Insrance

Nevada law requires that automobile liability insurance policies carry minimum coverage: $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident; $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and $10,000 for damage or destruction of others property in any one crash.

Insurance premiums are not only tied to your driving history, car model, neighborhood and so forth, but also to your credit score.  Credit scores are thought by insurance companies to correlate with a person’s potential crash risk. Bad credit will increase the cost of auto insurance premiums.

Your automobile insurance must be enforced and uninterrupted while the registration for the vehicle remains in your name. There is no grace period when your insurance coverage lapses. A first offense for letting your automobile insurance lapse is $250 per vehicle. And if you let your insurance lapse over 90 days you will be required to provide an SR 22 to the Nevada DMV. Your insurance company can charge you from $150 up to $265 for an SR 22. Letting your automobile insurance lapse becomes very expensive – the reinstatement fee for registration after allowing insurance to lapse a second time is $500 per vehicle.  A third lapse in automobile insurance will cost a reinstatement fee of $750 and a fine ranging from $500-$1000. There is no grace period. Your insurance company cannot backdate your lapse.

When registering  a vehicle, the vehicle owner must present evidence of current insurance on that vehicle.  This requirement is valid whether you are registering a vehicle for first-time, renewals, reinstatement or license plate changes. And proof of insurance must be carried in your vehicle at all times and presented to any law enforcement officer upon request.  If you are stopped by law enforcement without proof of auto insurance, you will be issued a citation.  Keep in mind that a law enforcement citation is completely separate from any DMV action.

An SR-22 is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility that your insurance company will file with the DMV.  You will be required to carry an SR22 if you allow your automobile insurance to lapse for more than 90 days. At least one registered owner of the vehicle is required to maintain an SR22. Your auto insurance company is required to notify the Nevada DMV if you drop the automobile insurance coverage or let it lapse a second time. Penalties for failure to maintain insurance under the SR-22 requirement include a suspension of your driver license and the registrations of all vehicles registered to you.

Learn more about insurance requirements with an ABC Drive Safe online course, now mobile friendly! Available 24/7 on your phone, computer or tablet.


80 chances to injure or kill


The average impaired driver will operate a vehicle 70 times before they are arrested.  

According to the CDC, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2014. Between 2000 and 2011, an average of 1,400,000 U.S. drivers were arrested annually for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The 1.4 million U.S. drivers arrested for DUI each year is equal to the entire population of Hawaii. On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest.

In 2007, the National Institutes of Health published the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study focusing on key human factors associated with the decision to drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Studies found that when people have been drinking, they feel sober before the brain and the body start acting impaired. This means that people might get behind the wheel and drive drunk or drugged because they think they are sober enough to drive. In reality, they are impaired both mentally and physically and do not think of the negative affects driving under the influence.  The consequences of getting convicted of a DUI or DWI are outstanding fines, jail time, community service, and even having to attend a DUI school for an

The consequences of getting convicted of a DUI are outstanding fines, jail time, community service, and even having to attend a DUI course such as those offered by ABC Drive Safe. DUI courses start at 8 hours and can go up to 72 hours and just keep increasing in cost.  But people do not think about the consequences, time and money the one mistake of deciding to drive impaired will make.

The Intentional Drunk Driver’s Attitude

  1.  Many drivers view driving as a right or entitlement rather than a privilege.
  2.  Drivers often believe that they are immune to the effects of alcohol or drugs.
  3.  Young adults are impulsive which is increased with alcohol.
  4.  Driving is viewed as a source of excitement rather than transportation.
  5.  Social pressure to be accepted, cool and unafraid.
  6.  A bulletproof mentality –  laws are written for other guy and rules don’t apply to the impaired driver.

Often a person who would normally not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol gets caught up in their emotions – they don’t care what happens to them or others. What happens when our assumptions meet reality face to face? What are the odds?



Some jobs require that an employer be notified of an employee’s DUI record.

Any job that requires a commercial driver’s license also requires that an employer be notified 30 days of being arrested for a DUI. Other occupations that fall into the category of notifying an employer of a DUI include:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Teachers
  • Pilots
  • Bus Drivers, Taxi Drivers, Truck Drivers and Chauffeurs
  • Military Personnel
  • Jobs w/ Security Clearance
  • Train Engineers

Management positions also have requirements for not hiring people with a DUI record – even if fines have been paid and jail time served. Background checks are very common for prospective employees, and DUI offenders have that strike against the. Any jobs that require driving will cause notification from the insurance company of your DUI charges when a new employer tries to add a DUI offender to their policy.

The cost of driving drunk is very expensive. Not just the thousands spent over several years with a DUI arrest, but also the significant restrictions placed on your life, employment and family. If someone is injured or killed as a result of a DUI crash, the impaired driver’s freedom will be sacrificed. Knowing these risks, why would someone choose to drive drunk? Here are some factors that motivate a person to drive under the influence.

Although both young and older adults are reasonably aware of many of the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reality hits them as the handcuffs are tightened on their wrists and they are sitting alone in the back of a law enforcement vehicle – either police or sheriff – with time to think.  Most of all drunk driving happens after drinking with being with family, friends, and coworkers, so their intercession with avoiding an impaired person from driving can be part of the solution. Society itself has made the cost of an arrest and conviction for DUI extremely expensive with all states having progressive punishments for second and third arrests. The “domino effect” a DUI can potentially change that person’s entire future, including career plans, relationships with friends and loved ones, or worse, the consequences of an injury or fatal crash. There is a standard pattern throughout the country of discouraging impaired driving:

  1.  Mandatory alcohol and drug education following an arrest such as an online DUI school.
  2.  Zero tolerance for anyone under the age of 21.
  3.  Immediate loss of a Driver’s License.
  4.  School-based education which can be taken in person or online.
  5.  Community-based education.

At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. Among drivers with BAC levels of 0.08 percent or higher involved in fatal crashes in 2013, one out of every three were between 21 and 24 years old. The next largest age groups were ages 25 to 34 and 35 to 44.  At 0.08 percent (three to four drinks), they are 40 times more likely to be killed than a sober driver and 20 times more likely to be killed than a 55-year-old driver at the same BAC level. By 0.12 percent BAC (four to six drinks) a 16- to 19-year-old is 90 times as likely to die in a traffic crash as a sober driver. It takes an arrest experience to have a long-term impact on drivers who choose to drive impaired.

Sobriety Checkpoints have been found to consistently reduce alcohol-related crashes, preventing 1 in 10 potentially fatal or injury crashes.

If you know anyone that has recently convicted of a first offense DUI and needs to take a DUI course, we provide the most affordable 8-hour online DUI class available, and it can be taken on any mobile device, which will save time and money in the long run.

Foreign travel for DUI Offenders

world_flagsIn the United States, DUI offenders can lose their license, pay hefty fines and attorney fees, be forced to install an ignition interlock device, serve jail time and face consequences that impact all aspects of life. What about travel? If you enjoy visiting other countries, going on road trips, travelling for business or pleasure, be aware of the requirements other countries place on letting DUI offenders in.

Visiting a foreign country as a DUI offender is not as easy as simply showing up at the border with a valid United States passport. If you have ever been arrested or convicted for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, regardless of whether it was a misdemeanor or felony offense, you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada and denied entry. Regardless of whether or not you have any intention to drive while in the country, a DUI (including civil infractions and “Actual Physical Control DUI” violations) can cause you to get turned away at the border, rejections of applying for a visa or showing up at the immigration entryways in a foreign country and being denied entry. A DUI offense and can also impede access to programs made available to immigrants.

Most European countries and the Schengen Area in general do not have restrictions for DUI offenders. Canada, on the other hand, is quite different – they take DUI very seriously. Canada denies DUI offenders entry into their country because they consider a DUI or DWI as a Federal criminal offense and the consequences are similar to those of the US. To overcome criminal inadmissibility to Canada, for example, a person must correctly apply for and then successfully receive permission from Canadian legal authorities to visit the country. Unfortunately, getting permission to enter Canada can be a highly complex legal process that could easily overwhelm someone without professional assistance. Canadian authorities will turn away anyone convicted of a DUI  but will forgive a DUI or DWI within 10 or more years if the proper procedures are followed.  When you traveling to Canada, border patrol will do a background check on every passenger arriving by car, plane or boat. If you travel to Canada by airplane, a CBSA Declaration Card is required, which is needed to present to security on arrival. When at the border in a vehicle, border patrol performs a background check, even if they are not driving.  The Canadian Border Services Agency is able to access information on people through FBI criminal databases and is able to pull up information within 30 seconds per person at first inspection., so there is no point in lying to border patrol or security, because it will just make things worse.  If you lie to border patrol about have a DUI or DWI on your criminal record, or even try to enter Canada at a different Port of Entry (POE), multiple times in the same day without being legally able to, Canada has the right to ban you from the country all together.


You will be able to enter Canada if you have followed the proper legal channels and if you do not have more that one DUI on your record. Once a DUI offender has completed all of the requirements for a DUI conviction, including taking a DUI course such as the Level 1 8-hour course offered by ABC Drive Safe, they can visit the consulate of the country they want to visit to complete the application process for “Criminal Rehabilitation”. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection and DUI Entry provide more information about travelling to Canada as a DUI offender.

Sobriety Check Points Reduce DUI tragedies

Do you see the sobriety check points on your streets? They are looking for the Thanksgiving Day revelers who may have had too much to drink while stuffing themselves with turkey and other holiday delights. Maybe they brought one for the road. Nevada law forbids anyone from drinking an alcoholic beverage while they are driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Additionally, it is unlawful for anyone to have an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is being driven.  If you are cited for having an open container in your car, your fine will be in excess of $300, five points will be added to your driving record, and you will be required to attend a DUI course such as those offered by ABC Drive Safe. You also risk being arrested if there is an unsealed or open container anywhere in the vehicle.

First responders, including law enforcement, have the site of DUI crashes indelibly etched in their memories. Perhaps that is why they follow the law to the letter when it comes to alcohol being present in a car.  It is illegal to be in proximity to the physical controls of a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs whether you are asleep or not. If the person is behind the wheel, has the keys in his or her possession, and must have driven the car to the location where the police officer sees the car, that person can still be arrested DUI and the penalties are the same.

The experience of being arrested for driving while impaired in any state carries an expensive price tag, in both in time and money. For the novice, the arrest is a unique learning experience.  As you will discover, the last drink was definitely not worth the money.



Sobriety Check Points can Save Lives


The experience of being arrested for drunk driving in the state of Nevada carries an expensive cost, both in time and money.  You lose your freedom for at least 12 hours. You will be placed in handcuffs and get a free ride to the local jail where you will be processed as a criminal, and your vehicle will be towed.  Better make sure you have enough in your bank account or credit card to pay the $50 or more a day while your car is impounded.

Court fines can be over $1200, blood tests to determine BAC cost about $60, and then there is community service you will be forced to engage in once you get out of jail. You will be required to attend a DUI Course like the ones we offer at ABC Drive Safe as well as a Victim Impact Panel, which is included in our course.  This is a series of presentations by victims or family members of victims whose lives were permanently changed as a direct result of drunk or drugged driving.

Ignition Interlock Device required in addition to DUI School

An interlock device will be installed in your car, at your expense, that prevents the car from starting if you are intoxicated when tested.  The Interlock Device is programmed to randomly test a driver, known as a “Rolling Test.” Nevada state law permits Ignition Interlock Devices to be installed as a condition of having your driver’s license being reinstated. All required fines and fees must be paid before you are granted a restricted license. Typically, the offender must pay for the installation of the ignition interlock device, maintenance costs ranging from $50 to $200, and the costs of un-installing the device when the mandatory period has passed.

There is a monthly rental fee for the device and those costs range from $50 to $100. You will also be responsible for the cost of maintenance as well as fees for downloading the data from the Ignition Interlock Device. The device will normally need to be calibrated every 60 days. Failure to maintain the device can be seen by the courts as a violation of the Ignition Interlock Program.

More expenses for a DUI offender – attorney fees, which can start at $2500 for the first offense, $65 license reinstatement fee as well as a 35 dollar victim compensation civil penalty. When you are able to have your license return you’ll have to pay $21 for new drivers license and will be required to take a DMV vision and knowledge test.  You may be required to take the driving test in order to receive your license.  For the following three years you will be required to provide an SR 22 certificate of liability insurance to the DMV which will cost you up to between $200 and $400 in increased insurance premiums.  A 1st DUI conviction results in an average auto insurance premium increase of 19%. A BAC of .18 at the time of arrest will result in a Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation. Must-serve 48 hours community service sentences require a $25 fee. A restricted license application will be denied if your license was suspended or revoked within the past 5 years for certain driving record convictions, the 3rd demerit point suspension, or should you have an outstanding medical or financial responsibility, or failure to appear suspension.

A second DUI conviction will cost you:

  1.    An advanced level DUI course costing $150 or more
  2.    $1,700 court fine
  3.    $5,000 attorney fees
  4.    Jail – From 10 Days to 6 Months
  5.    License Suspension – 1 Year (No restricted license possible)
  6.    100 to 200 hrs. of community service
  7.    Suspension of your vehicle’s registration
  8.    $40 Victim Impact Panel
  9.    $120 driver license reinstatement fee
  10.  $35 victim compensation penalty.
  11.  $21 for a new drivers license.
  12.  $150 – $250 X 3 years for an SR-22 (assuming you can get insurance)

A 3rd DUI conviction:

  1.  $2,000 to $5,000  court fine
  2.  Prison –1 to 6 Years
  3.  License Suspension – 3 Years
  4.  Restricted License Possible.
  5.  Ignition Interlock Device (If Restricted License Allowed)
  1.  May be subject to Vehicle Registration Suspension
  2. 3 Year Supervised DUI Program or Treatment (Possible)
  3. Plus almost everything listed in the 1st DUI arrest

Records of a DUI arrest and/or conviction remain in criminal history files for the rest of your life. A third DUI within seven years or a DUI which involves death or substantial bodily harm are felony offenses. If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you will be charged with a felony in any subsequent DUI arrest. Convictions and license revocations remain on your full DMV record for the rest of your life. A DUI conviction may show on your driver history for up to ten years. A license revocation is reported until the driving privilege is reinstated.

Is that drink or joint before driving really worth it?

Ride-sharing and alcohol-related motor vehicle homicides



Discovering the Social Benefits of Ride Sharing


This past May, Governor Sandoval signed off on legislation that allows ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft and others to officially operate in Nevada. The same demand that propelled many major U.S. cities was driving the push for ride-sharing in Las Vegas and Reno. These services are, without a doubt, convenient and often cheaper alternative to regular taxi services. And now, researchers are reporting a significant drop in the rate of vehicle-related homicides after the introduction of a ride-sharing economy.

A report from authors Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal at Temple University, “Show Me The Way To Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide“,  focuses on a social benefit consistently associated with these platforms, and presently being debated in the media – the potential for reducing the instances of drunk driving. “Existing regulatory structures for traditional vehicle hire services like taxicabs are designed to retard the number of licensed vehicles on the road; however, the absence of a sufficient number of taxis may result in citizens operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol.”  The report goes into the economic burden on taxpayers, such as the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating individuals convicted of DUI, the effective management of the number of and type of vehicle for hire services, posing a significant challenge for policy makers.

While significant debate has surrounded the entry of ride-sharing in a local economy in terms of circumnavigating the bureaucratic processes of licensed livery, upsetting the balance of service providers, financial incentives and other hot topics, little empirical research has been done on the social benefits (or lack thereof) of these platforms, until now.  A simple econometric study conducted by ride-sharing giant UBER provided evidence that their network of safe, readily-available rides had a meaningful and measurable impact on drunk driving in cities in which Uber operates freely. The Temple University research indicates that the entrance of Uber X results in a 3.6% – 5.6% decrease in the rate of motor vehicle homicides per quarter in the state of California. “With more than 13k deaths 22 occurring nationally each year due to alcohol-related car crashes at a cost of $37 billion dollars, results indicate that a complete implementation of Uber would create a public welfare net of over 1.3 billion to American taxpayers and save roughly 500 lives annually,” the report concluded. Moreover, with costs to the individual (e.g. court costs, insurance rate increases, loss of income) totaling between 5k and 12k dollars for the first DUI offense, significant welfare accrues to the individual as well by leveraging ride-sharing services.

Read the full report here.

The future of driverless cars here today


The Freightliner Inspiration made its way across the Hoover Dam today to become the world´s first licensed autonomous heavy-duty truck allowed to use public roads. The first journey of the driverless vehicle took place on U.S. highway 15 in Las Vegas. The truck is equipped with the intelligent Highway Pilot system for autonomous driving. Watch how the driving is controlled on this YouTube video.

Companies such as Tesla, Google and BMW are producing autonomous cars that will require little to no supervision from the person sitting in the drivers seat.  These companies are focusing on creating a vehicle that will reduce the amount of traffic accidents and DUI arrests. According to the Business Insider magazine, there are approximately 30 companies developing, manufacturing, and releasing autonomous cars, which are being tested in Nevada, California, and Florida.


All these companies and more are in the race to find the most effective self-driving car that will make our roads much safer and reduce annual deaths by human error or DUI’s. Additionally, driverless vehicles double efficiency. Human drivers are limited to a maximum of 11 hours a day with standard mandated breaks and are paid per mile. Driverless vehicles are able to be on the road 24 hours a day, and with the speed controlled better, there will be more fuel efficiency.

Auto-pilot cars are being operated by computer, considered an ideal motorist. Approximately 90% percent of accidents on the road are caused by human error – speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, driving unrestrained, drowsy and distracted driving, etc.  These are the topics covered in ABC Drive Safe DUI Courses, offered online on multiple devices, focusing on future DUI prevention. With computers taking the risk away from drunk drivers and taxi services and ride-sharing allowing anyone public transportation in a matter of minutes, we look forward to a future with no DUIs.

Meanwhile, computers are using complicated algorithms to determine how to operate a vehicle and remain attentive to its surroundings. Driverless car computers are able to determine stopping distance and distance from other vehicles as well as communicate with the other auto-pilot vehicles with a behavior known as platooning, making the drive much safer and reducing traffic incidents. Autonomous cars will completely eliminate DUIs, traffic offenses, injuries and fatalities. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), driverless cars will be optional by 2024, mandatory by 2044.

There are currently two types of self driving cars.  There are semi-autonomous and fully autonomous.  The fully autonomous vehicles, which are projected to show up in 2019, have the ability to drive from the beginning location to its destination.  These specific cars will be able to come across any sort of on-road scenario and get to the destination safely, without needing any sort of interaction from the driver themselves. It is projected that by 2020 there will be 10 million autonomous cars on the road.


With driverless cars, disabled persons will be able to drive in the comfort of their own car and not have to worry about catching buses or using alternative transportation that could cost more money over time. People who are unable to see or have loss in vision will be free to travel wherever they like without worrying about dangerous road conditions.

Accidents and incidents from people driving drunk should decrease because the driver is not really driving the vehicle. On the other hand, should the car’s driving computer malfunction, the driver will have to take control of the vehicle. Autonomous cars may also lead to an increased number of individuals driving drunk, thinking the vehicle will just drive itself.  California’s Act to add autonomous cars to the vehicle code addresses this directly by stating the vehicle will be operated “by a driver who possesses the proper class of license for the type of vehicle being operated if specified requirements are met, including that the driver be seated in the driver’s seat, monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle, and capable of taking over”

It is possible to be arrested for a DUI in Nevada, or any other state that legalizes autonomous cars, even if you are in the driver’s seat of an autonomous vehicle since you were in the car and could take control of the vehicle at any time.   There are still actions that the driver need to do to get the autonomous card functioning.  An individual would need to start the car, input navigation directions, and may even need to intervene if there is an emergency.  Even though it is a self-driving car, the inebriated individual would be considered the driver.