Sin City looks the other way on a lot of things. Now, something that could once land you in jail is no longer a crime.
People come to Las Vegas to do things they might never do at home.
Some of those can be pretty benign. You might stay up later than you normally do, imbibe a little more, or eat a few extra-extravagant meals. And, of course, Las Vegas has legal gambling and recreational cannabis with consumption lounges on the way.
Las Vegas may not embrace the name Sin City as openly as it once did, but the city has gone back to marketing itself as an adult amusement park.
In fact, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority recently revived its classic “What happens here, stays here” with a new ad, released in October, that humorously asks adults to leave their kids at home.
The ad ends with the phrase: “You can bring your kids to Las Vegas, but why would you?”
Las Vegas has become a place where pretty much any pleasure has become legal or at least quasi-legal. In fact, if it’s legal somewhere in the U.S., you can probably do it legally (or get away with it) on the Las Vegas Strip.
Now, something that’s actually a crime in most places will no longer be something that can lead to your arrest.
Nevada Changes a Key Law
Even with Las Vegas allowing all sorts of things that aren’t allowed elsewhere, it’s not a lawless place. Get into a fight or walk out of a restaurant without paying a bill, and you will find yourself on the wrong side of a jail cell.
The city still has what used to be called a drunk tank — essentially a jail to put people in when their drunken behavior gets out of hand. Yes, Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip look the other way, or even allow a lot of things, but you can still push the space too far.
Now, the state of Nevada has decided to change a rule that once got a lot of tourists in trouble, leading to some being arrested.
“Beginning Jan. 1, exceeding the speed limit by up to 30 mph is no longer a crime in Nevada. It will become a civil infraction that can’t lead to a bench warrant for your arrest — even if you neglect to pay your ticket,” Casino.org reported.
A tourist driving their rental car too fast, getting a ticket, forgetting about it, then getting arrested the next time they visit Las Vegas was not why the new law was passed.
The state legislature cited removing the threat of jail time for people who can’t afford the fines as the reason, but tourists who forget to (or choose not to) pay their tickets will also benefit.
Even Las Vegas Has Limits
While the new law removes the threat throwing you in jail for ignoring a speeding ticket, it does have its limits. You will still face jail time for other driving offenses including, but not limited to:
Driving under the influenceDriving more than 30 mph over the speed limitAggressive drivingDrag racingDriving on a sidewalkInjuring a road construction workerFailing to obey police Driving with a suspended, revoked, invalid, or fraudulent license
So what happens if you get a speeding ticket an don’t pay?
“All unpaid fines can now be sent to a collections agency,” Casino.org reported. “…A civil court also has the authority to garnish your wages or put a lien on property for delinquent fines. Assembly Bill 116 also specifies that a civil court can order the suspension of the person’s driver’s license over non-payment.”
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