Articles Posted in Felony DUI

In a previous entry on this Blog, I wrote about the passage of new Nevada State laws legalizing personal use marijuana and the possession of less than 1 oz. of marijuana – – – and further discussed the difference between “impairment” vs. “per se” DUI laws.

Nevada, unlike many states, has passed “per se” DUI laws setting acceptable levels of the presence of a drug in one’s system, over which the law presumes the driver is too impaired to drive safely. In many states a driver who is alleged to be under the influence of marijuana typically can’t be convicted of a “per se” DUI.  In those states, drivers are usually charged with a theory of impairment – – – wherein the prosecutor has to point to documented evidence that the driver cannot perform driving related tasks safely.  The law requires prosecutors in these jurisdictions to show that marijuana consumption had an effect on the driver and not simply prove up the presence of a specific amount of THC in the driver’s system.  Nevada commonly charges the “impairment” theory as their first theory of criminal liability in a DUI case.  In Las Vegas and throughout the State of Nevada, prosecutors have the burden of proving the person charged (the Defendant) is impaired “to a degree that rendered him incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle.” (NRS§ 484C.105 (2016)). In the States that ONLY charge the impairment theory of Marijuana DUI there has been no need to take action in changing their DUI laws following the recent trend towards the decriminalization of marijuana.

Nevada is the exception to this general rule however. Nevada is one of the small number of states that have legislation on the book utilizing the “per se” DUI theory to DUI of marijuana.  In Nevada a driver can be convicted of DUI simply by driving with a minimum concentration of the active agent in marijuana (“THC”) or the breakdown metabolite of THC in their system as detected through a blood test.

Accidents involving motor vehicles are a very common occurrence in the Las Vegas Valley.  Most of us have come to accept fender benders on our streets and highways as a way of life and rarely give them a second thought nowadays.  When the accident is alleged to have been caused by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol however, the consequences become much more severe for the person causing the accident.

A 21-year-old Los Angeles woman was severely injured recently and admitted to the hospital in critical condition after being part of a two vehicle accident, allegedly caused by a person driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan police department reported that this accident occurred shortly after 1:00 in the morning on September 21, 2013 in the vicinity of Las Vegas Boulevard and Siren’s Cove Boulevard near the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.

A full summary of the accident can be found here.

According to witnesses and the review of evidence located at the scene, a BMW was turning left from Siren’s Cove Boulevard to northbound Las Vegas Boulevard.  The driver of the BMW, who appears to be from Las Vegas, lost control of his vehicle and struck as which was abiding by traffic laws at a light signal.  All three individuals in the taxi cab were injured and taken to an area hospital.  One passenger in the taxi suffered severe injuries which are considered to be life threatening.

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