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
If the underage driver has a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher,
he or she can face penalties like:
to 60 days in jail
- A fine
revoked for up to six months
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
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.