Senate passes bill toughening DUI penalties |

Senate passes bill toughening DUI penalties

The Senate on Friday passed SB100, making it likely drivers convicted of more than one DUI will spend a longer time without a license.

Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, said the legislation was a response to a Supreme Court opinion that said if a DUI is bargained down from a second or third offense to a first or second DUI, then the Department of Motor Vehicles must use the actual conviction to determine how long the revocation of a driver’s license can last.

He said SB100 states that the revocation period depends on the original charge filed against the driver.

“It doesn’t matter if you plead down to a first offense,” Care said. “It’s still actually your second DUI.”

DMV can suspend a a license for up to 90 days in a first offense, one year for a second and three years for a third DUI conviction.

The vote was 21-0. The bill goes to the Assembly.

Also on Friday, the Assembly received two bills changing the DUI laws, both by Assemblyman Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas.

AB209 would make it mandatory for someone convicted of driving under the influence to attend a victims’ panel regardless of how far the meeting is from his or her residence. Existing law gives the judge discretion to skip the panel requirement if the closest meetings are more than 60 miles from the defendant’s home.

AB210 lowers the level of blood alcohol above which the defendant in a DUI case is required to attend a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program. The current level of 0.18 percent would drop to 0.15 percent.