Nebraska DUI Laws
It is unlawful for a driver in Nebraska to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug. The per se BAC limit in Nebraska is .08 percent or more. This means that someone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more is considered to be driving under the influence in Nebraska. A person does not necessarily have to have a BAC of .08 percent or more to be convicted for driving under the influence in Nebraska. A person who is stopped by an officer with probable cause may still be arrested and convicted for driving under the influence. A person can be arrested if he or she appears drunk because of the way they were driving, their physical appearance, or an inability to successfully perform field sobriety tests. An officer who stops a driver in Nebraska must have probable cause to make the stop. A police officer is not permitted to just arbitrarily stop drivers.
A driver in Nebraska is said to have given implied consent to chemical testing. A police officer may decide to test a driver’s blood, breath, or urine. Refusing a chemical test is a crime in Nebraska and an arresting officer must make a driver aware of this. Blood testing must be done by a licensed physician, registered nurse, or other qualified professional. A defendant can choose to have an independent chemical test done by a qualified person that they pick but the defendant must pay for the independent chemical test on their own.
A person who commits a DUI for the first time in Nebraska is guilty of a Class W misdemeanor that is punishable by a minimum of 7 days in jail with a maximum of 60 days. Additionally, the offender’s driver’s license is suspended for 6 months, fines of up to $400 may be assessed, and there could be alcohol treatment as well as an ignition interlock system required. A second DUI offense that is committed within 12 years of the first is also a Class W misdemeanor. The punishments for a second offense are 30 to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, suspension of the driver’s license for a year, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system. A third DUI offense in Nebraska that occurs within 12 years of the second offense is a Class W misdemeanor. The punishments for a third offense are 90 days to a year in jail, a $600 fine, suspension of the drivers license for a year, and a possible 15 year license revocation if the offense occurred within 12 years of the second offense. A fourth DUI offense that occurs within 12 years of a second DUI offense is a Class IV felony. The punishments for the fourth offense are 10 days to 5 years in jail, up to $10,000 in fines, suspension of the driver’s license for a year, possible 15 year revocation of the driver’s license, and the court may require alcohol treatment at the defendant’s cost.
A person commits a DUI in Nebraska when he or she operates or is in actual physical control of any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or of any drug. Someone in Nebraska who operates or is in actual physical control of any motor vehicle and has a BAC of .08 percent or more is guilty of per se driving under the influence. BAC stands for Blood Alcohol Concentration and measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. In Nebraska, there is zero tolerance for anyone who is under the age of 21 and has a BAC of .02 percent or more. Therefore, someone who is younger can commit a DUI in Nebraska even if he or she has a very small amount of alcohol in his or her blood. The rationale behind the stricter standard for younger people is to deter underage drinking.
Although a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more constitutes per se driving under the influence, it is not required that a person have a BAC of .08 percent or more to commit a DUI in Nebraska. A person can still receive a DUI in Nebraska based on other factors. This may be because an officer stopped them and the person’s impairment was demonstrated by the way he was driving, his physical appearance, chemical testing, or an inability to perform field sobriety tests. The elements of a DUI in Nebraska are that a person operated or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug. The driver commits a per se offense if their BAC is .08 percent or higher but can still be arrested for DUI even if their BAC is lower in cases where other factors show the driver was impaired by substances.
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