Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of either in Nebraska is a serious criminal and traffic offense. Drivers who are found guilty of DUI in court can face a range of penalties. These legal consequences can be expensive to afford and cost offenders their ability to stay out of jail.
Rather than risk being charged with and tried for DUI, drivers in Nebraska need to know what the legal blood alcohol content limits are. They also need to appreciate the punishments that are commonly meted out by state judges to address DUI in Nebraska.
DUI in Nebraska
Nebraska defines driving under the influence or DUI as operating any kind of motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content or BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. This law applies to driving a car, truck, or motorcycles. It also applies to operating other vehicles like mopeds and four-wheelers.
However, the DUI law in Nebraska also allows for someone to be charged with a DUI even if he or she is not actually driving a vehicle or the vehicle is not turned on or in motion. The person simply has to be in physical control of the vehicle, have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, and have the intent of operating the vehicle to be charged with a DUI.
Underage drivers are also subject to Nebraska’s DUI laws. However, their BAC level is lower at 0.02 percent. This BAC applies to drivers who are under the age of 21.
Nebraska also has laws that define what constitutes an aggravated DUI. To be charged with an aggravated DUI, a driver must have a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher. This charge merits harsher penalties under the DUI laws in the state.
DUI Penalties in Nebraska
Nebraska implements a variety of penalties for DUIs of all levels. A first DUI conviction in Nebraska leads to a jail term of seven to 60 days. It also carries with it a fine of $500. The judge has the discretion of suspending the 60-day jail term on a first-time conviction, however.
A second DUI conviction in Nebraska brings with it a 30 day to six month jail term and a fine of $500. The judge can suspend the jail sentence in lieu of a combination of jail time and community service. In that instance, the offender will have to serve 10 days behind bars and perform 240 hours of community service.
Offenders charged with aggravated DUI face harsher penalties under the Nebraska DUI law. The sentences for a first aggravated DUI conviction is a maximum 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
The charge will be a Class W misdemeanor and result in a suspended license for one year. The defendant will also have to undergo an alcohol assessment, use an ignition interlock device or IID on his or her vehicle, and perform 210 hours of community service.
A second aggravated DUI conviction results in a Class I misdemeanor charge and a minimum 90-day jail term. The fine increases to $1000, and the driver can lose his or her license for up to 15 years. He or she can apply for a restricted license with use of an IID after 45 days, however.
A third or subsequent aggravated DUI is charged as a felony and results in a minimum jail term of 180 days. The person’s license will be revoked for 15 years. He or she will also have to pay a $1000 fine and serve up to 180 days on probation.
Underage DUI in Nebraska
The penalties for underage DUI in Nebraska can also be expensive and lengthy for drivers under the age of 21. At minimum, the underage driver convicted of DUI in this state will have his or her license suspended for 30 days if he or she has a BAC of 0.02 or higher. Refusing to submit to chemical testing can result in another 90 day revocation of the person’s license.
If the underage driver has a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, he or she can face penalties like:
- Seven to 60 days in jail
- A fine of $500
- License revoked for up to six months
- An order to undergo a drug or alcohol assessment program
An underage driver in Nebraska who commits aggravated DUI can receive a jail term with no minimum sentence, a fine of $500, having to perform 120 hours of community service, a license revocation for one year, and having to undergo an alcohol or drug assessment program.
Implied Consent in Nebraska
Nebraska’s implied consent laws require motorists to give blood, breath or urine samples if law enforcement has probable cause to arrest them for DUI. Refusing to comply with testing is a crime that can be punished with fines and loss of driving privileges.
A first-time refusal for BAC testing in Nebraska results in a loss of one’s license for 180 days if the person has a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. A second or third refusal for the same BAC level results in a revoked drivers’ license for up to one year if the person had a prior refusal within the last 15 years.
DUI offenders who refuse to comply with chemical testing but are found guilty of DUI anyway can also have their licenses revoked. A first conviction for chemical testing refusal gets a 180-day license revocation while a second conviction results in loss of one’s license for 18 months to 15 years. A third conviction results in a revocation of 15 years.
Nebraska uses significant legal penalties to dissuade people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The laws apply to people over the age of 21 as well as underage drivers.
People cannot bypass being charged with a DUI by refusing chemical testing. Their refusal can compound the legal penalties that they face after they are convicted of driving under the influence in Nebraska.