CARSON CITY (CN) – Drivers in Nevada need to fail only one of two required sobriety tests before his or her license is yanked for drunken driving, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled.
Nevada law requires that two breath tests be taken on a suspected drunken driver to determine blood-alcohol content, and that a driver’s license can be revoked if that BAC is at least .08 percent.
A lower court ruled that the driver must fail both tests before a license can be revoked.
But Justice Michael Douglas, writing for the state’s highest court, wrote, “only one valid sample must be over the legal limit in order for the Department of Motor Vehicles to revoke a driver’s license.”
The case comes after Aundrea Taylor-Caldwell was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, failed a field sobriety test and was arrested.
She was then given two breath tests. The first put her under the legal limit at .073, but the second tested at .083, above the legal limit.
An administrative law judge ruled that her license should be revoked because she failed one of the two tests.
But the state Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
“Because the results of the two breath samples were well within 0.02, the DMV satisfied the evidentiary breath test requirement pursuant to the purpose and plain language of (state law), which was to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the breath results,” the court ruled. “Therefore, the result of the second test was sufficient to determine the breath alcohol concentration of Taylor-Caldwell.”