If you’re convicted of drunk driving in Nebraska, you will be required to do time in jail, pay fines, attend alcohol education courses, have an ignition interlock device installed in your car, and much more. If you’ve been arrested in Nebraska you have 10 days to request a hearing with DMV, or your license will be suspended. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced attorney right away.
Nebraska DUI laws provide for two separate cases when someone is arrested for DUI in Nebraska. The first case is an Administrative License Revocation Hearing (also called an ALR Hearing). Under Nebraska DUI law, an ALR Hearing is a civil hearing where the state is trying to suspend your driving privileges for a period of time. The second case is the Nebraska DUI criminal court case. Here, the state is trying to convict you of drunk driving, and require you to do time in jail, pay fines, attend alcohol education courses, have an ignition interlock installed in your car, and much more.
URGENT! IF YOU’VE BEEN ARRESTED FOR NEBRASKA DUI, YOU HAVE ONLY TEN (10) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF YOUR ARREST TO REQUEST A HEARING WITH THE NEBRASKA DMV, OR YOUR LICENSE WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDED.
Nebraska DUI laws provide that there are two ways where someone can be convicted of drunk driving in Nebraska. The first type of Nebraska DUI charge relates to the condition of the driver and applies where the driver is mentally or physically impaired by consuming alcohol and/or drugs. There is no particular alcohol level that needs to be reached for a common-law Nebraska DUI conviction. It is simply a question of whether or not the driver’s impairment can be proved by driving pattern, field sobriety test performance, the physical appearance of the driver, or chemical test results when they are available.
Nebraska DUI laws also allow for conviction where there is a violation of Nebraska’s “per se” DUI laws. These Nebraska DUI laws criminalize driving above Nebraska’s legal limit of .08% BAC. Nebraska DUI prosecutions on the per se laws have nothing to do with the impairment of the driver; they are based purely on body chemistry, meaning that one can be convicted of a Nebraska DUI even if that person’s driving skills are unaffected by the consumption of alcohol.
Nebraska DUI arrests do trigger give rise to the right to a jury trial. Nebraska DUI juries are comprised of six people from the community; in order to obtain a guilty verdict in a drunk driving case, the prosecutor must convince all six of the jurors of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that if even one juror does not believe the accused violated Nebraska DUI laws, there is a hung jury. This will possibly result in the dismissal of the Nebraska DUI.
Nebraska DMV Hearings
Nebraska DUI law provides that the DMV can administratively suspend the driving privileges of anyone arrested for Nebraska DUI. This will happen automatically following an arrest for drunk driving unless a DMV Hearing request is tendered within 10 days of arrest. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to contact a qualified Nebraska DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible following a Nebraska DUI arrest.
Nebraska DUI ALR Hearings will consider whether or not the stop and arrest were lawful, whether the arrestee submitted to a chemical test with results of .08 or higher (or whether the person refused after having been advised of the consequences of refusal). The Nebraska DUI ALR Hearing is conducted by an ALR Hearing Officer – a lawyer who is empowered to make recommendations to the Director of the DMV. Following the DUI ALR Hearing, the Hearing Officer will recommend a decision to the Director, who makes the final decision. The decision will be mailed to you and your lawyer by certified mail.
The consequences for losing the DUI ALR Hearing are as follows:
- First Offense – 90 day suspension with a work permit available after the first 30 days.
- Second and subsequent Offense – 1 year suspension with no work permit.
License Suspensions in Criminal Court: In addition to the ALR suspensions as outlined, a conviction in criminal court will result in an additional suspension of your Nebraska driving privileges following a conviction for Nebraska DUI:
- First Offense: 60 days with probation, or 6 months if you are sentenced to jail.
- Second Offense: 1 year with probation & the same if you are sentenced to jail.
- Third Offense: 1 year with probation and 15 years if you are sentenced to jail.
- Fourth Offense: 1 year with probation & 15 years if you are sentenced to jail.
However, some criminal courts allow you to drive for all purposes if you have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. This is a portable breath-testing device that tests you for alcohol consumption each time you start your car and periodically while driving. It’s cumbersome and intrusive, but it does allow you to drive. Not all courts authorize this device.
So how do the two fit together? If you win the ALR, your license is mailed back to you. When you go to court, you’ll have a suspension, but may be able to drive with the ignition interlock. If you lose your license to the ALR, the court-imposed suspension is credited with the time you were suspended under the ALR. They run at the same time.
Criminal Court Consequences
Nebraska DUI laws provide for additional punishment beyond the driver’s license consequences as outlined above. The amount of punishment will vary considerably, depending upon whether this is a first-, second- or third-offense DUI.
Nebraska DUI First Offense
- Maximum: sixty days imprisonment and five hundred dollars fine.
- Mandatory minimum: seven days imprisonment and four hundred dollars fine.
Nebraska DUI Second Offense
- Maximum: ninety days imprisonment and five hundred dollars fine.
- Mandatory minimum: thirty days imprisonment and five hundred dollars fine.
Nebraska DUI Third Offense
- Maximum: one-year imprisonment and six hundred dollars fine.
- Mandatory minimum: ninety days imprisonment and six hundred dollars fine.