DUI in Nebraska

A driver arrested for drunk driving in Nebraska faces two different procedures. The first procedure is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing, which will determine the status of the offender's driver's license. The second case is the criminal court case. A conviction of DUI can result in consequences such as jail time, fines, mandated alcohol education courses, and the possible requirement of installing an ignition interlock device (IID).

In the state of Nebraska, an officer can make an arrest for the following drunk driving offenses:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater
  • If under the age of 21, driving with a BAC .02 or greater

Nebraska DUI Penalties

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction Up to $500 7 days - 60 days Minimum 6 months
2nd Conviction $500 Minimum 30 days Minimum of 1 year
3rd Conviction $600 90 days - 1 year 2 years - 15 years
4th Conviction $1,000-10,000 6 months - 5 years Minimum of 15 years
5th Conviction $1,000-25,000 1 year - 15 years Minimum of 15 years

Determination of Guilt in Court

In Nebraska, the DUI laws provide two different ways that a person can be convicted of drunk driving. The first way relates to the condition of the driver at the time of arrest and no proof of measurable alcohol level is necessary. It is based on the following physical characteristics of the driver when pulled over by the law enforcement official:

  • Driving patterns
  • Field sobriety test results
  • Physical appearance of the driver

Chemical test results may also be used when available to convict an offender under these DUI laws, however they are not necessary.

The second way for a person to be convicted is by virtue of Nebraska's "per se" DUI law which makes it a criminal act if you are operating a motor vehicle when your BAC level is 0.08 per cent or greater. It has nothing to do with a driver's physical impairment as it is based solely on body chemistry.

It is important to keep in mind that penalties vary according to the specific circumstances of each case. It is always best to consult with an attorney who will be able to best advise you on your situation.

Consequences of Arrest and Conviction

A first offense is considered a misdemeanor and carries a possible jail sentence of up to 60 days, fines up to $500, and possible license suspension for 6 months. A second conviction within 12 years will result in fines up to $500, jail time of a minimum of 30 days, and license suspension for a minimum of 1 year. A third conviction within 12 years can bring up to 15 years of license suspension, up to 1 year jail time, and fines up to $600. A fourth conviction within 12 years becomes a felony and will result in up to 5 years of jail time, minimum 15 years of license suspension, and possible fines of up to $10,000.

In addition to jail time and fines, an offender may be required by the court to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). The IID forces a driver to pass a breath test with a BAC of no more than 0.02 per cent before he or she can start their vehicle and drive. In addition to being subjected to the device, a driver will need to pay installation, maintenance, and monthly rental costs of the device. If the court mandated license suspension as part of an offender's penalties, a restricted license can be applied for after the initial 30 days of suspension (if BAC was under .15) as long as an IID is in place.

Driving Repercussions – ALR Hearing

You only have 10 days from the time of arrest to request an administrative hearing or your license will automatically be suspended. Losing your case at the ALR hearing will result in a 90-day suspension of your license with a work permit possible after the first 30 days. If it is a second or subsequent offense, you will receive a one year suspension with no work permit possible.

Chemical Testing and Implied Consent Laws

Under Nebraska state law, any licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to an approved test (blood, breath, or urine) for the purposes of showing intoxication. Refusing to take the requested test will result in a variety of penalties. A first time offender will receive 6 months license revocation with penalties increasing in cases involving multiple convictions. If there have been three or more convictions or test refusals within the past twelve years, the offending driver is subject to 15 years of license revocation and a minimum of 10 days in jail.

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