DUI or drunk driving is the most common criminal offense in the Las Vegas area. This trend has not only launched groups pushing for stricter laws, but it has also created another industry focused on defending those charged with a DUI. DUI checkpoints are a scene many locals are used to since the city serves alcohol. Sandy Heverly with Stop DUI describes Las Vegas as a culture of drinking, even though the state has seen a significant reduction in DUI accidents and fatalities.
“Alcohol is a drug, a drug that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe fashion,” says Heverly.
Although Nevada has some of the toughest DUI laws, advocacy groups want more. Working with the Nevada Legislature, Heverly is pushing a bill that would double the cap for victim compensation.
“This bill is not just designed for…any crime victim that suffers injuries and requires additional assistance. The beauty of this bill is it does not affect our general fund; it has nothing to do with that. It has no fiscal note to this. These monies are derived from federal grants and other resources.”
But for all of the resources for victims, you’ll find just as many for offenders.
A simple online search found numerous web sites focused on helping those charged with DUIs. Local attorney Michael Becker lists his help online. He says he is not advocating drinking and driving, but rather provides helpful information for those who run into trouble.
“Where there is a demand for service, there are those that respond and provide those services. Of course, those who are facing prosecution for driving under the influence need representation; because some are guilty, some may not be.”
A second bill up for debate would require all DUI offenders to attend a live victim panel within a sixty-mile radius of their home, as opposed to watching it online where there is no supervision.