What Are the Nebraska DUI Laws?

You may enjoy a nice glass of wine or bottle of beer every now and then, but what happens when you get carried away, have a little too much to drink, and decide to drive home? Like many other states, Nebraska has laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, also known as a "DUI." These laws cover blood alcohol limits, testing procedures, and penalties for driving under the influence.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits in Nebraska

In Nebraska, if a driver's BAC reaches 0.08% or higher, the person is driving while intoxicated. This is called a "per se" BAC limit DUI law which means that no other evidence is needed to support a DUI conviction.

For drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 years old, the BAC limit is 0.02%. This is called a "zero tolerance law." This law is intended to curb and punish underage drinking and driving.

Implied Consent

Nebraska has what is known as an "implied consent " law which means that simply operating a motor vehicle in the state implies consent to a chemical testing for detection of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances. If testing is refused, the driver's license may be suspended.

Penalties

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Nebraska vary depending upon the number of prior offenses and the BAC level of the current offense:

First offense: Class W misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in prison, up to $500 in fines, and a potential license revocation for up to 6 months. If the driver's BAC level was .15 or higher, the potential license revocation is for up to 1 year.

Second offense: Class W misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in prison, up to $500 in fines, and a potential license revocation of 1 year. If the driver's BAC level is .15 or higher during the second offense, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and a potential license revocation for up to 15 years.

Third offense: Class W misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and a potential license revocation for up to 15 years. If the driver's BAC level is .15 or higher during the third offense, it is a Class 3A felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines in addition to the potential 15 year license revocation.

Fourth offense: Class 3A felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and a potential license revocation for up to up to 15 years. If the driver's BAC level was .15 or higher during the fourth offense, it is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines in addition to the potential 15 year license revocation.

Fifth offense: Class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines, and a potential license revocation for up to 15 years. If the driver's BAC level was .15 or higher, it is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison and a potential 15 year license revocation.

Subsequent offenses are determined based upon whether there was a prior offense in the last 15 years.

In addition to the above penalties, the driver may be required to apply for an ignition interlock device. The above penalties may also be enhanced if the driver's drunk driving results in serious bodily injury or death.

Commercial Drivers

Drivers of commercial vehicles are subject to a more stringent standard than normal drivers. The per se BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04% which means that a BAC of 0.04% is enough for a conviction and can result in a suspension or permanent revocation of a commercial driver's license.

Getting Legal Help

DUI laws can be complicated and sorting out what to do next after being charged with a DUI crime can be confusing. If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, you should consult with a Nebraska DUI attorney who can counsel you on your rights and responsibilities as a driver.

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