The Nevada Supreme Court's decision on Tuesday means suspects in deadly DUI cases can not face murder charges, as well.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Nevada Supreme Court ruled fatal DUI drivers will no longer face second degree murder charges.

The most severe charge that can be brought against deadly DUI drivers is felony DUI causing death, which carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison. 

Those facing second degree murder charges would serve at least 10 years before being eligible for parole. 

“We can still charge felony DUI death which is two to 20 years in prison, and the person, if convicted, will go to prison but not for as long as if they were convicted of second degree murder,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

The public defender's office supports the court decision and said courts must consider intent when hearing these types of cases.

“Nobody getting behind the wheel of the car is trying to hurt somebody else. Regardless of the situation that they are in when they get behind the wheel,” said David Westbrook, Chief Deputy Public Defender.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD, opposed the ruling and some within the organization said they feel that victims’ families will end up paying the price and not those responsible.

“I truly believe they feel cheated because now their loved one is dead but nobody is paying for that,” said Kathleen Beinenstein, programs specialist with MADD.

The DA and MADD now said they will take their grievances to state legislators and attempt to have the law changed.

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments


Let someone drunk kill one of my family members. They better hope they're in prison for a long time because that's the only place they'll be safe.


Anyone who gets behind a wheel under the influence of mind altering substances is showing a criminal disregard for the lives of others and should be punished accordingly.

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