There is no doubt that teen drivers do not have much experience behind the wheel. While teens must follow the same as other drivers on the road, in Nevada there are additional laws that apply to them.
Their inexperience, unfortunately, can lead to traffic accidents. If your teen has been involved in a car accident, you need to understand their rights. Contact Pacific West Injury Law to deal with any legal issues following your child’s accident.
Nevada’s Graduated Driver’s Licenses for Teens
Teenagers follow a graduated system of driver’s licenses to work toward their permanent license. This can begin at the age of 15 1/2 when they can apply for their driving permit. When applying they need to:
- Be accompanied by one of their parents
- Show proof of their school attendance
- Pass a written test
- Pass a vision test
Armed with their permit, teens can drive with a licensed adult driver, 21 years of age or older. That licensed driver needs to have had their own license for a minimum of one year. Before applying for their minor license, the permitted teen needs to:
- Complete at least 30 hours of a classroom driver’s education course
- Complete 50 hours of driving with a parent or guardian, at least 10 hours of which must be at night
A Nevada Minor’s Driver’s License
The teen driver must now pass a road test to get their minor driver’s license. Qualifications for the test include:
- Having reached the age of 16
- Having had their permit for six months
- Share a log of their 50 practice hours with proof of parent or guardian who accompanied them
- Have a clean driving record with no moving violations or at-fault accidents
When your teen passes their minor test and receives their minor license, they will be able to drive alone. However, there are rules and restrictions beyond those for all drivers, including:
- Passengers must be age 18 or older, except for immediate family members during the first six months of the minor’s license
- The minor driver can only drive between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. except to and from work or school events
- The minor driver and any passengers must always wear their seat belts
Additional restrictions may apply in various locations where there are curfews, such as on the Las Vegas Strip where minors are not permitted after 9 p.m. unless accompanied by an adult, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). At the age of 18, a teenager may apply for their unrestricted regular driver’s license.
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Nevada Law Regarding Teen DUIs
Nevada limits a blood alcohol content level (BAC) to 0.08 for adult drivers. The legal age to purchase alcohol is 21.
Nevada is also a no-tolerance state, meaning it has zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 21 having any amount of alcohol in their system when behind the wheel. As such, the blood alcohol content limit is .02 for any driver under the age of 21, whether their driving is truly impaired or not.
DUI Penalties for a Teenage Driver
The result of a first-time teen DUI is considered a misdemeanor, although the punishment can be severe. The driver could face:
- Two days to six months in jail
- Between $400-1,000 in fines
- A mandated Victim Impact Panel
- Up to a 185-day license suspension
The punishment for repeated DUI offenses as a teen only gets worse and can affect their adult driving status as well. Their licenses can also be suspended for habitual truancy or violations of firearm laws.
Nevada’s Driving Laws in General
In addition to the rules that apply under each phase of licensing and up until the age of 21, teen drivers must follow the same traffic laws as adult drivers. Breaking any traffic laws can lead to the same types of fines, penalties, and license points as for adult drivers.
Does Nevada Create Safer Teen Drivers with Its Graduated License System?
Nevada’s graduated license system isn’t unique. All 50 states have some type of graduated driver licensing system. Why?
Teen driver accidents are a universal issue around the country. Parents must work closely with their teen drivers to avoid traffic violations and accidents. Beyond inexperience, some reasons teen drivers are more prone to accidents include:
- Taking risks – Many teens are continually looking for a thrill. They are more apt to speed and violate other traffic laws including stop signs and red lights.
- Carrying underage passengers – Teens enjoy the company of their peers. As such, although illegally, they like to take other underage friends along with them causing distracted driving.
- Joyriding – Because having a driver’s license is new, teens will often go for a ride with no intentional destination. Unfortunately, this can also lead to drinking while driving. Recreational driving leads to more fatal accidents.
Teen drivers are often not as concerned about obeying the law as they are getting caught. Getting caught often follows a car accident.
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Who Bears Responsibility When a Teen Driver Causes an Accident in Nevada?
When their teenager applies for their minor license, the parent or guardian signs a financial responsibility statement. When a teen drives with a provisional license, the parents or guardians are responsible for the financial liability of injuries and damages to others should their teen be at fault in a car accident.
Like other drivers, teens must adhere to Nevada driver insurance laws. When damages exceed the limits of the insurance policy, parents can be held responsible.
Why Your Nevada Teenager Needs a Lawyer After an Accident
If your teen has been in an accident, whether they were at fault or not, it is important to seek the aid of an experienced car accident lawyer. It is common for an adult driver to accuse a teen of fault whether true or not, and their insurance company will follow suit.
Notify your insurance company of the accident, but otherwise, leave all correspondence to your attorney. Do NOT speak with, or allow your teen to speak with, the other driver’s insurance company.
Pacific West Injury Law provides a free initial consultation for any accident case. Set up an appointment convenient for your teenager and yourself to attend. Bring any evidence you and your teen have following the accident including a copy of the police report.
Why Pacific West Injury Law?
The legal team at Pacific West Injury Law has the knowledge and experience you can count on for car accident cases whether involving a teen driver or not. Helping our neighbors in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson through personal injury cases is all we do. Call Pacific West Injury Law, today!