Criminal Defense

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Nebraska?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Wednesday July 18, 2012

For the most part, nothing.  In Omaha, Nebraska when you are cited or arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI, your charge is actually often referred to by the prosecuting attorney as a DWI, or OMWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated).  In Nebraska it is all the same.  As your DUI lawyer will point out, in Omaha there are two laws that you can be cited or arrested under.

Nebraska State DUI Statute

The first is the Nebraska DUI statute which is Nebraska Revised Statute Sec. 60-6,197. Nebraska criminal statutes are enacted by the Nebraska legislature so you can be charged under the Nebraska statute anywhere in Nebraska.

If you are arrested for driving under the influence outside of Omaha, for instance in Lincoln, Blair, Wahoo, Plattsmouth or Fremont you will likely be charged under the Nebraska statute, as most other counties do not have city ordinances for DWI.

Omaha City Municipal Code

The second DUI law you can be charged under is the Omaha city ordinance for Driving While Intoxicated which is found in the Omaha Municipal Code at Section 36-115. The Omaha Municipal Code is put into place by the mayor and city council.

You can only be cited for DUI under the city ordinance if you were pulled over within Omaha city limits.  The penalties for DUI are the same under both the city ordinance and the state statute, and if you are being charged with a felony DUI you will be cited under the state statute regardless of what county you are arrested in.

Who prosecutes your DUI in Omaha is a separate issue.  If you are cited for a misdemeanor DUI within Douglas County, you will be prosecuted by a lawyer in the Omaha City Prosecutor’s Office.  If you are arrested on felony DUI charges (i.e. 3rd Offense DUI Aggravated, 4th Offense DUI, etc.), your case will be handled by a prosecutor in the Douglas County Attorney’s Office.

The bottom line is DUI, DWI, OMWI, and OMVWI all mean the same thing in Omaha, NE.  People just refer to them differently.  For more information on see our Omaha DUI Laws page.

Chandler | Conway

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