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The Nebraska DUI Guide

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I just got arrested for a State of Nebraska DUI charge.  What happens now?

 

ISSUE ONE:  The Nebraska Implied Consent / Administrative License Revocation Proceeding:  Under Nebraska implied consent law, any person who operates or has in his actual physical control a motor vehicle in the State of Nebraska is deemed to have given his consent to submit to a chemical test or tests of his blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the concentration of alcohol or the presence of drugs in such blood, breath, or urine.  This is known as Nebraska's implied consent law.

 

Pursuant to this implied consent law, your Nebraska license (or your right to drive in Nebraska if you're not a Nebraska licensed driver) was most likely revoked for anywhere from 90 days to one year for failing or refusing a chemical (breath / blood / urine) test.  This revocation typically starts on the 30th day following your arrest.  [If you had a valid Nebraska license at the time of your arrest, you should have been given a temporary permit that allows you to drive for the next 30 days.]

 

Read your paperwork carefully.  If you act quickly (typically within 10 days of your arrest), you can request an administrative hearing to challenge your proposed revocation.  After a timely request, an administrative hearing will typically be scheduled approximately 20 days after your arrest date.  This hearing is often referred to as an ALR Hearing.

 

Speak to your Nebraska DUI attorney for more information about contesting your implied consent / administrative license revocation. 

 

 

ISSUE TWO:  The Nebraska DUI Criminal Case:  Separate from the administrative license revocation is the criminal charge for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  Under Nebraska law, it is unlawful for any person to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle:

(a) While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug;

(b) When such person has a blood / breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more.

It is also a crime to refuse to submit to a chemical (breath / blood / urine) test. 

Important:  The implied consent / administrative license revocation proceeding and the criminal DUI case are completely separate from one another. 

 

Will my Nebraska driver license be revoked / suspended?

 

RELATED TO ISSUE ONE ABOVE:  Your Nebraska driver license (or your right to drive in Nebraska if you do not have a valid Nebraska license) may be revoked in the administrative license revocation proceeding for failing or for refusing a breath, blood, or urine test for alcohol and / or drugs.  For a first offense, the revocation is either 90 days (test failure) or one year (test refusal).  Again, you may challenge in an administrative hearing this revocation if you make a timely hearing request.

 

 

RELATED TO ISSUE TWO ABOVE:  If you are convicted of the DUI charge, you will also lose your drivers license (or your right to drive in Nebraska if you don't have a valid Nebraska license) for from six months to up to 15 years.  This revocation is separate and distinct from the administrative license revocation.  Talk to your Nebraska DUI lawyer for possible revocation lengths for your situation.

 

 

Also keep in mind that your license can be revoked for a variety of reasons unrelated to a DUI arrest e.g. conviction(s) for other traffic crimes.

 

What happens if I get caught driving while my license is revoked?

 

Driving while your license is revoked should be avoided as it is a new Class II misdemeanor offense.  Penalties include fines and possible jail time.  The court will also order you, as a part of the judgment of conviction, not to operate any motor vehicle for any purpose for a period of one year.  For a second conviction, the court will order you not to operate a motor vehicle for two years.  If you're on probation for a DUI conviction, driving on a revoked license will also violate your probation.

I really need to drive.  Will I be able to get a restricted / limited / occupational / conditional / probationary permit?

 

You may be eligible for a restricted license / ignition interlock restricted license after some waiting period.  Speak to your Nebraska DUI attorney for more information.

 

What is the difference between a DUI, DWI, OWI, DUII etc.?

 

These terms are all acronyms that refer to the offense commonly known as "drunk driving."  Different states have different names for the crime.  For example, in Wisconsin the acronym OWI (operating while impaired / intoxicated) is used; Oregon uses the term DUII (driving under the influence of an intoxicant).  Nebraska law refers to "driving under influence" so the acronym DUI is commonly used here.  This website uses the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably. 

 

Is a DUI offense in Nebraska a misdemeanor or felony charge?

 

In Nebraska, a DWI is usually a misdemeanor crime.  A first DUI offense or second DUI offense within the past 12 years is a misdemeanor crime. 

 

A third DUI offense within the past 12 years is a misdemeanor crime if your BAC is less than 0.15 percent.  However, a third DUI offense within the past 12 years is a felony crime if your BAC is 0.15 percent or greater or if you refused a chemical (breath / blood test). 

 

A fourth or subsequent DUI offense in the past 12 years is a felony crime.  The critical look back period for prior offenses is 12 years.

 

What type of penalties might I face if I am convicted of an Nebraska DUI charge?

 

Upon conviction of an Nebraska DUI offense, a defendant can receive a variety of penalties including alcohol treatment and education.  A range of penalties is set forth below: 

 


NEBRASKA DUI PENALTY CHART

DUI  CONVICTION TYPICAL PENALTIES
FIRST DUI
BAC less than 0.15 percent
misdemeanor
(no prior offenses within the past 12 years)
  • fine of $500 or less;
  • zero to seven days jail;
  • license revocation of up to six months but limited driving with an ignition interlock device possible after 30 days.
FIRST DUI
BAC 0.15 percent or greater
(no prior offenses within the past 12 years)
  • fine of $500 or less;
  • two to seven days jail (sometimes 120 hours of community service may be allowed in lieu of jail time);
  • license revocation of one year but limited driving with an ignition interlock device possible after 60 days.
SECOND DUI
BAC less than 0.15 percent
misdemeanor

(one prior offense within the past 12 years)
  • fine of $500 or less;
  • ten to 30 days jail;
  • license revocation of one year.
SECOND DUI
BAC 0.15 percent or greater
misdemeanor
(one prior offense within the past 12 years)
  • fine of $1000 or less;
  • 30 to 90 days jail;
  • license revocation of at least one year (possibly much longer).
THIRD DUI
BAC less than 0.15 percent
misdemeanor
(two prior offenses within the past 12 years)
  • fine of $600 or less;
  • 30 to 90 days jail;
  • license revocation of at least two years (possibly much longer).
THIRD DUI
BAC 0.15 percent or greater
felony
(two prior offense within the past 12 years)
  • substantial fines;
  • 60 to 180 days jail;
  • five to 15 year license revocation.
FOURTH DUI
BAC less than 0.15 percent
felony
(three prior offenses within the past 12 years)
  • substantial fines;
  • 90 to 180 days jail;
  • 15 year license revocation.
FOURTH DUI
BAC 0.15 percent or greater
felony
(three prior offense within the past 12 years)
  • substantial fines;
  • 120 days to one year jail;
  • 15 year license revocation.
Note 1:  The critical look back period for prior convictions is 12 years.
Note 2:  For a fifth DUI conviction offenders face a two year prison sentence.

Will my defense lawyer be able to plea bargain / negotiate my Nebraska DUI charge down to another (lesser) offense?

Possibly.  Any experienced Nebraska DUI attorney will attempt to negotiate with the prosecution on the client's behalf.  Unlike some states, Nebraska does not bar plea bargaining on DUI offenses.  Sometimes, your only option will be to plead guilty to the DUI charge or take your case to trial.

Will a Nebraska DUI conviction go on "my driving record?"

Yes.  A DUI conviction will go on your Nebraska driving record.

Just how much jail / prison time will I have to do if I am convicted of a DUI in Nebraska?

The amount of incarceration (jail or prison) received will depend on a number of different factors, including (but not limited to) the following:

•  your prior driving record especially your DUI history (including any DWI'S / OWI's / DUI's outside of Nebraska);

•  your level of intoxication / BAC (BAC of 0.15 or greater can generate greater penalties);

•  whether there was an accident involved;

•  whether there was injury to another person;

•  which Nebraska county or court your case is in;

•  what judge you are sentenced by;

•  whether there was a passenger / child in your car;

•  whether the judge feels you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

 

I am licensed to drive in a state other than Nebraska and I was cited for a DUI / DWI in Nebraska.  Will my driver license be revoked or suspended?

Nebraska only has the authority to revoke your right to drive in the State of Nebraska.  However, Nebraska and 44 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted an agreement known as the "Driver License Compact."  Nebraska will report a driving under the influence conviction to the home state of the driver (assuming the home state has also adopted the Compact).  Your home state will then generally take action to suspend or revoke your license.

This also works in reverse.  If you are a Nebraska licensed driver and you are convicted of a DWI / OWI / DUI / DUII charge in another state, Nebraska will revoke your license if it learns of the conviction. 

Will I have to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device on my car?

 

A breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) is a breath alcohol measurement device that is connected to a motor vehicle ignition.  In order to start the motor vehicle, a driver must blow a breath sample into the device which then measures alcohol concentration.  If the alcohol concentration exceeds the startup set point on the interlock device, the motor vehicle will not start.  The device also requires the driver to blow into the device at periodic intervals while driving in order to prevent cheating. 

 

Beginning in 2012, 7ou will likely have to install a BAIID in your vehicle following a Nebraska DUI conviction.  Speak to your Nebraska DUI lawyer to see if the requirement applies to your situation.

What will a Nebraska DUI do to my ability to keep / maintain liability insurance?

If your insurance company finds out about your DUI conviction one of two things are likely to happen.  Either your Nebraska insurer will raise your insurance rates or your policy may be cancelled or non-renewed.  Your insurance company will learn of your DUI arrest if you have to file an SR-22.

What is an SR-22 Filing?

An SR-22 is a form from a Nebraska licensed insurance company certifying that you have purchased liability insurance that meets the minimum required coverage limits of the State of Nebraska.  The SR-22 filing provides proof to the the Nebraska DMV that you are insured.  If you cancel your insurance or the insurance company cancels your policy before your suspension period is over, the company must notify the DMV straight away. 

Nebraska requires an SR-22 filing for the three years following a DUI conviction.

My DUI involved an accident.  Do I need to file a Nebraska accident report?

Every operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident in Nebraska resulting in either injury, death, or damages over $1,000.00 to the property of any one person must complete and return a driver's motor vehicle accident report within 10 days following the collision.  If the driver is unable to fill out the report, the owner of the motor vehicle is required to complete the form.

Are there special concerns for licensed pilots who get an Nebraska DUI?

 

Yes.  The FAA has special reporting requirements for certain Motor Vehicle Actions including Nebraska DUI convictions and certain administrative license revocations.  Learn more here.

I missed my court appearance.  What do I do now?

Failing to appear (FTA) for court is to be avoided.  When you miss a DUI court appearance, bad things happen.  At a minimum, the Nebraska court typically issues a warrant for your arrest (often known as a bench warrant).  You may also face a new, additional criminal charge.  Talk to an attorney as soon as possible.  Often, your only option is to turn yourself in on the outstanding warrant.  A new court date will then be scheduled for you.

Can I represent myself in court on my Nebraska DUI or other criminal charge(s)?

Yes.  You have an absolute constitutional right to represent yourself on any criminal charge no matter how serious including an Nebraska DUI charge.  Keep in mind that Nebraska DUI defense is a complex area of the law as shown by the information in this website.  If you cannot afford to hire your own DWI lawyer, you definitely should apply for a court appointed attorney.  You have no right to court appointed counsel at any implied consent license proceeding.

 

Websites, including this one, provide general Nebraska DUI information but do not provide legal advice or create an attorney / client relationship.  General information cannot replace legal advice about your case, problem, or situation.  Consult qualified Nebraska Drunk Driving - DUI lawyers / attorneys for advice about any specific problem or Nebraska DUI that you have.  Nebraska attorneys are governed by the Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct.  This website may be considered an advertisement for services under these Rules.  Information contained in this website is believed to be accurate but is not warranted or guaranteed in any way.  No lawyer associated with this website is specialized or certified in any way.  This site is an informational website.  Neb. DUI FAQ's.  2012

 

Providing drunk driving (DWI / DUI) and criminal defense assistance to the communities of:  Norfolk, North Platte, Fremont, Hastings, Kearney, Grand Island, Bellevue, Lincoln, and Omaha and Douglas County, and to College and University students.  Beat a DUI.  What happens; consequences and punishment.  Nebraska lawyers may accept Visa, American Express, and MasterCard credit cards. 

 

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