Nevada Alcohol Laws
Where to Buy Alcohol
Alcohol is available for purchase from private retail establishments, with beer, wine, and liquor readily available in grocery stores and convenience marts. As well, Nevada offers drive-through package stores. Local ordinances structure sales times and days for alcohol, but there are few restrictions and typically alcohol is available at all times of the day.
Legal Age for Drinking/Serving Alcohol
While the legal drinking age is 21 in Nevada, as in all states, a person aged 16 or more may work in a grocery store or convenience mart where alcohol is served or sold if supervised by someone over 21. To work as a bartender or in a restaurant that sells alcohol you must be 21 years of age.
Open Container Laws
Any previously opened alcoholic beverages must be carried in the trunk of a car, unavailable to driver or passengers.
A blood-alcohol content (BAC) level over .08 percent is illegal and constitutes ‘per se intoxication.’ The state needs no further proof than this in order to convict the driver of DUI (driving under the influence).
If a driver is chemically tested and results indicate the BAC is .18 percent over the legal limit of .08 percent, the driver faces stricter penalties.
‘Zero tolerance laws’ discourage underage drivers from consuming alcohol. Drivers under age 21 who test positive for a BAC of .02 percent or more can be charged with DUI.
‘Implied consent laws’ require a driver to cooperate with a law enforcement officer who requests breath, blood, or urine testing for intoxication. Refusing to do so can carry a mandatory penalty of a suspended driver’s license for up to one year.
Suspension of a driver’s license by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for the first DUI conviction is 90 days; for the second offense, one year; for the third offense, three years.
Vehicle confiscation for DUI conviction is not a penalty option in Nevada, but the courts can require an ignition interlock device installation or alcohol education, treatment, or assessment.
DUI is considered a felony after the third conviction.