Criminal Defense

Nebraska DUI’s and the Status of New Interlock Laws

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Monday June 23, 2014

Recently, in an article posted by The Omaha World Herald, Governor Dave Heineman, Secretary of State John Gale and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning made it clear how they feel about the new DUI Interlock legislation.  New laws allow defendants who have lost their license for fifteen years as a result of a DUI conviction to immediately apply for the Interlock.  Prior to the new laws, anyone sentenced to a fifteen year revocation was forced to wait seven years before applying for a reprieve from the Nebraska Board of Pardons.

The new laws allow the Board of Pardons to grant use of the Interlock almost immediately.  Unfortunately, Governor Heineman, Secretary John Gale and Attorney General Jon Bruning have made it clear that it will be their policy to uniformly deny any requests for the Interlock device that are made to the Board without waiting at least seven years from the original date of sentencing.  This policy essentially voids the intent the Nebraska Legislature had when they passed the new laws allowing for immediate use of the Interlock and makes applying for the permit virtually pointless.

Not allowing immediate use of the Interlock to persons convicted of Driving Under the Influence and sentenced to lengthy license revocations does not make the roads any safer for the general public.  In fact it does quite the opposite.  Nebraska does not have a good mass transit system in place.  When faced with having to choose between losing their job, not being able to get their children to school, missing out on medical treatment, or any of the hundred other reasons it is necessary to drive in Nebraska on a daily basis, most people will drive anyway.  Only now, they will be driving illegally.  There will be no safeguard to make sure there is proper insurance, and there will be no Interlock device to help prevent any further drinking and driving.

Chandler | Conway

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