DUI & DWI in Nebraska
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Alcohol, drugs, and driving don't mix. In fact, Nebraska drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are responsible for the majority of auto accidents involving death or serious injury.
It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any illegal drugs. If you're older than 21 and have been drinking, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% of higher. At this level, fundamental skills such as steering, speed control, lane changing, braking, and distance judgment are substantially impaired. A driver with a BAC of .08% is three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than someone who has not consumed any alcohol.
If you're younger than 21, Nebraska's "zero tolerance" law makes it illegal to drive with any alcohol in your system. In addition to having less experience than an older driver, you're more likely to feel the negative effects of excessive drinking. Since you teen drivers are still growing, your body processes alcohol differently than someone who has reached the legal drinking age.
Like many states, Nebraska has an implied consent law. This means that whenever you are operating a vehicle on Nebraska's roadways, you have already implicitly agreed to submit to any chemical test requested by a law enforcement officer. If you refuse the test, you will face the same punishment as someone found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Each year, Nebraska law enforcement officers arrest more than 14,000 drivers for operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, sentences can vary for Nebraska drivers convicted of DUI offenses.
For example, a first offense is considered a Class W misdemeanor. The mandatory minimum sentence is seven days in jail, a six-month license revocation, and a $400 fine. The maximum sentence is 30 days in jail, a six-month license revocation, and a $500 fine.
For information on the even harsher sentencing options for repeat offenders, please see the DMV's DUI information page.
After receiving a license suspension for a DUI conviction, you'll need to provide proof of financial responsibility before you can receive a new Nebraska driver license. This is done by having your insurance company submit an SR-22 filing to the Financial Responsibility Division of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. You will also need to pay any necessary fees as well as successfully complete a vision screening, written exam, and driving test.
If you are convicted of a third DUI offense, you will lose your driving privileges for 15 years. However, after serving seven years of this sentence, you may be eligible to apply for an ignition interlock-restricted license. This allows you to operate a motor vehicle equipped with a device that tests blood alcohol content. The car will not start unless you pass the breath test.
A DUI conviction is a serious thing, and it's in your best interest to know your rights. Consider hiring a DUI attorney to help you wade through the hearing, penalty, and suspension process. Check out our online DUI attorney directory on this site.
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