Alcohol and the Law: Top 4 Alcohol-Related Offenses We See in Vegas

You fly in to Las Vegas for your bachelor party. On the airplane, you have a glass of wine. You grab your bags, take an Uber to your hotel, and wait for your best man and your friends at the bar in the lobby. You have a cocktail.

Once your friends arrive, your collective excitement skyrockets. You’re about to have a huge night on the Strip. You all have a shot at the bar. Then, you head upstairs to shower off the day of travel and enjoy a beer as you get ready.

Before you’ve even stepped out of your hotel room, you may have drunk enough alcohol to be considered impaired. And that’s just the start of your evening. You’re about to drink until the wee hours of the morning.

This series of events is a common, even normal, kickoff to many people’s stay in Las Vegas. Even if you don’t drink like this at home, it’s very possible you’ll nonetheless drink like this while you’re here. Unfortunately, the more alcohol you consume, the more you put yourself at risk for doing something illegal. As bail bondsmen, we see a large amount of alcohol-related offenses. Below is a list of the top four offenses you should be aware of.

1. Drunk Driving

You begin to experience alcohol-induced impairment when you have a BAC of only 0.05%. For an adult male who weighs 180 pounds, that’s equivalent to about three drinks. In Nevada, the legal BAC limit is 0.08% for individual drivers over the age of 21. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04%, and drivers under the age of 21 have a BAC limit of 0.02%.

Assuming you didn’t refuse a sobriety field test, your first-offense conviction will result in a driver’s license suspension of 90 days. You will have to pay a fine between $400 and $1,000. You also may have to spend between two days and six months in jail.

If you’ve had a previous drunk driving conviction, the penalties will be stiffer. You will lose your license for a year, and pay a fine between $750 and $1,000. You may have to spend between 10 days and 6 months in jail.

A third drunk driving offense results in a three-year driver’s license suspension, one to six years in jail, and $2,000 to $5,000 in fines. A fourth drunk driving conviction requires a mandatory prison sentence.

2. Disturbing the Peace

Let’s say you and your bachelor party attendees get inebriated, and you’re all getting pretty loud at a casino. Your best man starts shouting at other gamblers. Another guy in your group passes out on the floor, forcing other guests to walk around them.

Both of these are examples of disturbing the peace, also called a breach of peace or disorderly conduct. It’s defined as someone being openly hostile or exceptionally disruptive in public. In Nevada, disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor, and your punishment could be up to $1,000 in
fines and/or up to six months in jail.

3. Urinating in Public

When you drink a lot, you eventually need to relieve yourself. Unfortunately, many Las Vegas tourists get so drunk that they answer the call of nature behind a dumpster, in an alley, next to a building, or on the side of a parked car. Because of its prevalence and potential human health risk, Las Vegas police are very strict about public urination and defecation.

Depending on the circumstances, public urination charges can include indecent exposure and, if it included defecation, littering as well.

If convicted for public urination, you’ll have to pay fines up to $1,000 and/or spend six months in jail. If indecent exposure is added to the charge and you are convicted, you will have to register as a sex offender. You may have to spend up to 364 days in jail and/or pay $2,000 in fines.

4. Open Containers

Clark County regulates open container laws on the Strip, which spans across Las Vegas, Paradise, and Winchester. You can legally have open beverages on the Strip proper; however, your drinks cannot be in a glass container. Even non-alcoholic beverages in glass containers are illegal to carry on the Strip.

Because open container laws vary off the Strips, it’s important to understand that you should not leave the Strip proper with your plastic cup full of beer.

It’s also critical to know that you cannot bring an open container within 1,000 feet of a school, hospital, homeless shelter, liquor store, or place of worship. While most people aren’t jailed for open container violations, you can be ticketed for $200 to $250.

If you’ve been arrested for an alcohol-related offense, contact All Star Bail Bonds. We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We offer bail bonds services in five locations throughout Nevada, including two locations in downtown Las Vegas.