The DUI Process in Nebraska
The first thing you need to know about being pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of drunk driving in Nebraska is that you are not required by law to take a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test includes tasks like standing on one leg, walking a line, or checking eye movement. Because these actions might be difficult for people with medical conditions or physical disabilities, Nebraska law doesn’t require them; however, by operating a motor vehicle in Nebraska, you have given “implied consent” for chemical testing. If your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or greater, you can be arrested for DUI. If under the age of 21, that threshold is 0.02%. If you refuse testing of your blood alcohol content, you still face penalties.
Nebraska Administrative License Revocation
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you probably had your driver’s license confiscated by law enforcement under the Nebraska Administrative License Revocation law. The law provides that your license and/or privileges to operate a motor vehicle can be taken away immediately upon your arrest. If your driver’s license wasn’t confiscated, you will need to surrender it.
The Nebraska Administrative License Revocation law also provides that if eligible, you can obtain a temporary driver’s license that will allow you to operate a motor vehicle for 15 days following the surrender of your license. You may be required to install an interlock ignition device that allows you to operate a vehicle for certain activities during revocation. The device blocks ignition to your vehicle’s starter until you register a valid breath sample. You will also be required to have your auto insurer file proof of Nebraska SR22 insurance to verify coverage as required by law.
DUI Penalties in Nebraska
Penalties for DUI are based upon blood alcohol content and the number of previous convictions. In general, a first offense results in a lighter DUI penalty than a second offense, and a lower blood alcohol content results in a lighter penalty than a higher percentage. Prior offenses include those committed in any state during the 15 years prior to this arrest.
A conviction for a first offense Class W misdemeanor can result in penalties including up to 60 days in prison, up to $500 in fines, and revocation of your driver’s license for six months. If your blood alcohol content was 0.15% or higher, your license could be revoked for up to one year.
A conviction for a second offense Class W misdemeanor can result in penalties including up to 90 days in prison, up to $500 in fines, and license revocation for one year. If your blood alcohol content was 0.15% or higher, you can be convicted for a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries penalties of up to one year in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to 15 years of license revocation.
A conviction for a third offense Class W misdemeanor can result in penalties including up to one year in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and revocation of your license for up to 15 years. A blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher is a Class 3A felony which can result in up to five years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines and license revocation for up to 15 years.
There are additional DUI penalties for drivers who cause injury to others while drunk driving, for commercial vehicle operators, and for drivers who refuse to take a blood alcohol test.