Understanding Nebraska’s DUI Laws and Penalties

Did you know that in Nebraska, if you’ve been caught under DUI, it can last up to 12 years on your driving record? According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1.5 million people were arrested in a year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Dealing with Nebraska’s DUI laws is complicated and has serious consequences. Understanding the legal blood alcohol limits and the corresponding penalties is just the beginning of what could happen.

person riding on vehicle

In this article, we will explore all about Nebraska DUI laws and the potential defenses against DUI charges that could make all the difference in your legal journey.

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits

To drive legally in Nebraska, you must keep your blood alcohol level below the specified limit.

In Nebraska, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for non-commercial drivers over 21 years old is 0.08%. This means that if you’re found operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you’re considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) and can face severe penalties. For drivers under 21 years old, Nebraska has a zero-tolerance policy, making it illegal to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Understand that even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you can still be charged with a DUI if your ability to drive is impaired due to alcohol or drugs. Law enforcement officers in Nebraska are trained to detect impaired drivers through various tests, such as field sobriety tests and breathalyzer exams.

Driving under the influence not only puts your life at risk but also endangers the lives of others on the road. A Jacksonville, NC, DWI accident lawyer advised that it’s always best to designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation if you have been drinking.

DUI Offenses and Penalties

In Nebraska, DUI offenses are categorized based on the level of intoxication and any prior offenses.

For a first-time DUI offense with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.08% and 0.149%, you may face up to 60 days in jail, a license suspension of 6 to 18 months, and fines of up to $500. If your BAC is 0.15% or higher, the penalties increase to a maximum of 90 days in jail, a 1 to 15-year license suspension, and fines of up to $1,000.

Repeated offenses or aggravated circumstances, such as driving with a minor in the vehicle, can lead to harsher penalties, including longer jail time, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.

Administrative License Revocation

When facing a DUI offense in Nebraska, your license may be subject to administrative revocation. This means that your license could be suspended immediately if you fail a breath test, refuse to take a chemical test, or have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08%. The administrative license revocation is separate from any criminal charges you may face for the DUI offense.

If your license is administratively revoked, you have the right to request a hearing within 10 days of receiving the notice of revocation. At the hearing, you can challenge the revocation and present evidence to support your case. Act quickly and seek legal assistance to navigate this process effectively.

During the administrative license revocation period, you may be eligible for a temporary driving permit that allows you to drive under certain conditions. Follow these conditions to avoid further legal consequences.

Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

Ignition interlock devices are mandatory for individuals convicted of DUI in Nebraska.

If you’re found guilty of driving under the influence, you’ll likely be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device works by measuring the alcohol content in your breath before allowing the vehicle to start. It’s a preventative measure that aims to reduce the risk of repeat offenses and promote safer driving habits.

Once installed, the ignition interlock device must be calibrated regularly to guarantee accuracy. Failure to comply with the calibration requirements or attempt to tamper with the device can result in further penalties and an extension of the ignition interlock period.

Defenses Against DUI Charges

Consider the potential defenses available to challenge DUI charges in Nebraska. Here are all the possible defenses that could help in your case.

One common defense is to challenge the validity of the traffic stop. If law enforcement officers didn’t have a valid reason to pull you over, any evidence gathered after the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.

Questioning the accuracy of field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results can be another defense strategy. These tests aren’t foolproof and can be influenced by various factors that may lead to inaccurate readings.

Another defense could involve challenging the chain of custody of blood or urine samples if those were taken. By analyzing how these samples were handled from collection to testing, it may be possible to create reasonable doubt about the accuracy of the results.

Consulting with an experienced DUI defense attorney in Nebraska can help you understand the best defense strategy based on the specifics of your case.


Nebraska’s DUI laws are comprehensive and strict, with significant penalties for those found guilty. Learning about the defenses against DUI charges can be helpful in case you ever find yourself in such a situation.

Know the consequences of driving under the influence to keep yourself and others safe on the road. Always make responsible decisions, and never put yourself or others at risk by driving while impaired. Stay informed and stay safe.

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