Nebraska DUI Laws and Penalties

How Nebraska defines “driving under the influence” (DUI) and the consequences of a conviction.

In Nebraska, a person can be convicted of DUI for operating or being in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle:

For purposes of Nebraska’s DUI laws, the phrase “under the influence” means the person’s ability to safely drive a vehicle is impaired to an “appreciable degree.”

Jail Time and Fines for Nebraska DUI Convictions

The possible penalties for a DUI conviction normally depend on the following factors:

  • the defendant’s BAC level
  • whether the judge grants probation or a suspended sentence, and
  • whether the defendant has prior DUI convictions within the last 15 years.

Enhanced penalties generally apply if the defendant’s BAC was at least .15%. If the judge grants probation (also referred to as a “suspended sentence”), the defendant is typically sentenced to jail time but is allowed to serve all or part of the time on probation rather than in jail. But if the defendant violates probation, the original jail sentence can be imposed.

Here are the minimum and maximum jail sentences and fines for first, second, and third DUI convictions.

1st offense (BAC less than .15%)

1st offense (BAC .15% or more)

Jail Time & Fines Conviction Sentence

7 to 60 days in jail

$500 fine

7 to 60 days in jail

$500 fine

Jail Time & Fines Suspended Sentence

Up to 60 days in jail (no minimum jail time)

$500 fine

Maximum: 60 days in jail

Minimum: 2 days in jail or 120 hours of community service

$500 fine

2nd offense (BAC less than .15%)

2nd offense (BAC .15% or more)

Jail Time & Fines Conviction Sentence

30 days to 6 months in jail

$500 fine

90 days to 1 year in jail

$1,000 fine

Jail Time & Fines Suspended Sentence

Maximum: 6 months in jail Minimum: 10 days in jail or 240 hours of community service

$500 fine

30 days in jail

$1,000 fine

3rd offense (BAC less than .15%)

3rd offense (BAC .15% or more)

Jail Time & Fines Conviction Sentence

90 days to 1 year in jail

$1,000 fine

180 days to 3 years in jail

Up to $10,000 fine

Jail Time & Fines Suspended Sentence

30 days in jail

$1,000 fine

60 days in jail

$1,000 fine

License Revocations for DUI Convictions in Nebraska

All Nebraska drivers who are convicted of DUI face a license revocation. The revocation periods for first, second, and third convictions are as follows:

1st offense (BAC less than .15%)

1st offense (BAC .15% or more)

Revocation Period for Conviction Sentence

6 months

1 year

Revocation Period for Suspended Sentence

60 days

1 year

2nd offense (BAC less than .15%)

2nd offense (BAC .15% or more)

Revocation Period for Conviction Sentence

18 months

18 months to 15 years

Revocation Period for Suspended Sentence

18 months

18 months to 15 years

3rd offense (BAC less than .15%)

3rd offense (BAC .15% or more)

Revocation Period for Conviction Sentence

15 years

15 years

Revocation Period for Suspended Sentence

2 to 15 years

5 to 15 years

In most circumstances, the defendant is required to apply for an ignition interlock permit (IID permit) and install an IID in the defendant’s vehicle. However, in some cases, the defendant is prohibited from driving for 45 days before obtaining the permit. Generally, the defendant must retain the permit and IID for at least one year or for the revocation period, whichever is longer.

Nebraska’s Implied Consent Law and Refusing Chemical Testing

Nebraska’s implied consent law requires all motorists to submit to breath, blood, and/or urine testing if there are reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will administratively revoke the license of any motorist who fails or refuses a test for the following periods:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

Revocation Period for BAC of .08% or more

180 days

1 year (if 1 or more prior license revocations in the last 15 years)

1 year (if 1 or more prior license revocations in the last 15 years)

Revocation Period for Test Refusal

1 year

1 year

1 year

In Nebraska, refusing a chemical test is a crime in and of itself. (Though refusal to take a blood test generally can’t be punished as a crime unless police had a warrant.) In addition to the implied consent revocation, the court will revoke a defendant’s license upon a conviction for a refusal for the following periods:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

Revocation Period for Conviction Sentence

180 days

18 months to 15 years

15 years

Revocation Period for Suspended Sentence

60 days

18 months to 15 years

5 to 15 years

Other Penalties for DUI Convictions in Nebraska

Alcohol assessment and treatment. All DUI offenders must complete an alcohol assessment and treatment program.

Alcohol monitoring device. The court can require DUI offenders to use an alcohol monitoring device and to refrain from alcohol use.

Vehicle immobilization. In some cases, the court will require all vehicles owned by the defendant to be immobilized for five days, up to eight months. Generally, the court allows the defendant to obtain an IID permit and install an IID as an alternative to immobilization.

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