Criminal Defense

Nebraska DUI/DWI Overview–I been charged with Driving Under the Influence. What happens now?

When you receive a DUI/DWI in Nebraska you are dealing with two separate processes: (1) the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Administrative Loss Revocation (ALR) and (2) the State of Nebraska criminal justice system.

First, let’s discuss the process of dealing with the DMV.  Whenever you have been cited for Driving Under the Influence, you face the possibility of the DMV suspending your license.  The time period for suspension depends on whether your license has previously been suspended by the DMV under the ALR process.  As of July 1, 2013, the DMV license suspension for a first offenses ALR is six months.

When you have been given a citation or arrested for DUI in Nebraska, you will typically be given three things: (1) copy of your citation or booking sheet from the jail, (2) fifteen day temporary license/notice/sworn report (typically yellow in color) and (3) request for ALR hearing form.  You have ten days from the alleged date of offense to request an ALR hearing by sending in the proper form; however, since the Nebraska legislature modified the laws governing ALR hearings and suspensions in 2012, ALR hearing requests have become extremely rare.  If you do not request a hearing within the ten-day time period you waive your right to hearing on the matter, and your license will be automatically suspended for the requisite time period determined by the DMV.   The fifteen-day temporary license form serves as your license for the days immediately following your citation.  Your license suspension will begin at the expiration of your fifteen temporary license.  ALR hearings are held telephonically and only address the issue of whether probable cause existed that the person cited for DUI was in operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Second, let’s discuss the criminal justice system.  When you are cited or arrested on charges of Driving Under the Influence, you will also face criminal penalties in state court.  The criminal penalties you will face can be broken down into four basic categories: fines and costs; jail time; probation; and license suspension/revocation.  What penalties you are facing depends on whether you have any prior convictions for DUI and what your blood alcohol level was at the time of the offense.

  In Nebraska, the limit for alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle is .08.  If your blood alcohol level is .08 or greater, you will likely be cited for Driving Under the Influence; if your blood alcohol level is .15 or greater, you will likely be cited for what is called an aggravated DUI offense.  Aggravated DUI offenses carry greater criminal punishments than non-aggravated offenses.  In Nebraska, the punishment for a first offense DUI non-aggravated is either: (1) probation, $500.00 fine and sixty-day license revocation; or (2) seven to sixty days in jail, $500.00 fine and six month license revocation.  The punishment for a first offense DUI aggravated is either: (1) probation, two days jail time or 120 hours of community service, $500.00 fine and one-year license revocation; or (2) seven to sixty days in jail, $500.00 fine and one-year license revocation.   Your court-ordered license revocation period will run concurrently (at the same time) with your ALR suspension through the DMV.  This means if you are suspended for six months by the DMV and sixty days by the court, your total license suspension/revocation will be six months.

Offenses for Driving Under the Influence are very serious.  The statutes and regulations governing DUI’s are constantly changing.  Nebraska’s current DUI laws were enacted as recently as 2012, and new statutes governing the use of the ignition interlock device went into effect earlier this year.  If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence make sure to consult with a licensed DUI attorney.

Chandler | Conway

Related Articles