What Nevada Laws Apply to Teen Drivers?
Getting a license is a right of passage for most Nevada teens. No matter how nervous parents are, it’s impossible to delay the moment that your teen finally achieves the legal right to drive a motor vehicle without an adult present. But what are the laws that apply to teenage drivers?
For one thing, teens must follow all the rules of the road, just like other motorists. These rules will get covered in basic driver’s education course and truly come to life once your teen gets behind the wheel.
Safety is a priority, and Nevada has detailed laws that your child must follow before and after she gets a license. Below, we highlight the most important ones you should know about.
Qualifying For A Driver’s Permit
Before someone can get a license, they must have a permit. Nevada’s rules for obtaining a permit are as follows:
- The applicant must be at least 15 ½ years old on the day they apply.
- The applicant’s parents must also apply with the teen.
- The applicant must pass a written test and a vision test.
- Proof of school attendance is required.
Rules Regarding Driving Permits
Nevada also has crafted detailed rules for teens with a driver’s permit. For example, your teen must follow these rules:
- The teen driver must have someone 21 years old or older in the vehicle with them.
- The adult must have one or more years of driving experience. So Mom or Dad can’t be a new driver, too.
- Teens must have 50 hours of driving with a parent or guardian before applying for a minor license. At least 10 hours must be nighttime driving.
- Teens must have completed a driver’s education course before getting a minor license. This course includes 30 hours of instruction in a classroom setting.
While driving, teens must follow all the rules of the road, lest they get pulled over and jeopardize their permit.
Qualifying For A Minor’s Driver License
After your child has gained experience with a permit, he or she can apply for a license once if they satisfy the following:
- At least 16 years old
- Have had a driving permit for at least 6 months
- Have a clean driving history, such as no moving violations or at-fault accidents
Your teen will also have to pass a driving test out on the road and submit a log showing that he or she drove for 50 practice hours. Make sure to carefully document all the time you were in the vehicle with your child.
Minor’s Driving License Rules
Once your teen gets her license, she’s free to drive alone! However, the state still has detailed restrictions in place to promote public safety. Our youngest drivers on the road cause a disproportionate number of accidents, so Nevada has put in place some common sense rules.
For example, your teen cannot transport anyone under 18, unless the person is a member of the family, such as a younger sibling. This rule applies for the first 6 months. A teen also cannot drive between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am unless they are attending school or work events.
Once your child turns 18, they can apply for an unrestricted driver’s license but until then they need to follow these rules.
Driving Under The Influence (DUI) As A Minor
The legal age to buy alcohol is 21 in Nevada, so all teens are underage. What happens if they nevertheless have consumed some alcohol before getting behind the wheel?
Nevada law sets the legal limit at 0.08 for adults. For minors, however, there is zero tolerance. Any blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is 0.02 or higher is over the legal limit and can result in a DUI charge. Remember, it does not matter whether your teen’s driving ability is actually impaired. A BAC that is over the legal limit results in them being legally impaired.
Penalties For Underage DUI
Nevada has stiff penalties for minors convicted of an underage DUI. A minor will be prosecuted as a juvenile or as an adult based on the driver’s age and the severity of the driving offense.
- If your child is 18 or older, he will be prosecuted as an adult.
- If your child is under 18, then he will be prosecuted in juvenile court if charged with a misdemeanor.
- If your child is under 18 and charged with a felony, he can be prosecuted as an adult.
A first-time DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor. A third or fourth DUI, however, is an automatic felony. So if this is your child’s first DUI, then he or she will probably appear in juvenile court.
A sentence in juvenile court for a first-time delinquent usually consists of community service, educational classes, and a suspended juvenile hall sentence. A juvenile might also have to pay fines.
However, if prosecuted as an adult, then a first-time misdemeanor can result in fines up to $1,000, DUI school, and a 6-month suspended jail sentence. Felonies carry much harsher penalties, including longer time behind bars.
Suspended Licenses and Underage DUI
Nevada promptly suspends the licenses of people who are picked up for DUI. The length of suspension will depend on age and the driver’s BAC.
According to NRS 483.461, a person guilty of a first-time underage DUI will have a license suspension for 90 days provided their BAC is under 0.08. It is sometimes possible to get a restricted license after 45 days to travel to work, school, or medical appointments.
A minor with a BAC of 0.08 or higher will have a license revoked for a longer time. For a first-time DUI, the revocation typically lasts 185 days, with a restricted license available halfway through.
Protect Your Teens
Nevada’s teen driving laws have one goal—to protect your teen and the public. Many teens chafe against the driving restrictions they face, typically because they want to drive around with their friends.
If you have been injured by a teen driver, Naqvi Injury Law has your back. We are experienced car accident attorneys who have helped many victims, and we are eager to hear from you. Contact us today for a free consultation.