Nebraska Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

Learn about the penalties for DUI convictions in Nebraska.

In Nebraska, it’s unlawful for a person to operate or be in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle:

A person is considered “under the influence” when the person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle is impaired to any “appreciable degree.”

Penalties Imposed for Convictions

A driving under the influence (DUI) arrest typically leads to administrative (license-related) penalties under Nebraska’s implied consent law. And if the offender is convicted of DUI in court, there are also criminal penalties imposed in addition to the administrative consequences.

Criminal Penalties

The criminal penalties imposed for DUI convictions usually depend on:

  • the defendant’s BAC
  • whether probation or a suspended sentence is granted, and
  • whether the defendant has prior DUI convictions.

Generally, penalties are more severe if the defendant’s BAC was .15% or more and less severe if probation (also called a “suspended sentence”) is granted. If the sentence is suspended, the defendant is typically sentenced to jail time but is allowed to serve all or part of the time on probation instead of in jail. However, the original sentence can be imposed if the defendant violates probation.

For purposes of calculating prior convictions, all DUI convictions within 15 years of the current offense are counted.

The chart below details the minimum and maximum penalties for first, second, and third DUI convictions and suspended sentences.

1st offense

1st offense Suspended Sentence

2nd offense

2nd offense Suspended Sentence

3rd offense

3rd offense Suspended Sentence

Jail

7 to 60 days

2 to 60 days or 120 hours community service (if BAC .15% or more)

30 to 180 days

90 days to 1 year (if BAC .15% or more)

10 to 180 days or 240 hours community service

30 days (if BAC .15% or more)

90 days to 1 year

180 days to 3 years (if BAC .15% or more)

30 days

60 days (if BAC .15% or more)

Fines

$500

$500

$500

$1,000 (if BAC .15% or more)

$500

$1,000 (if BAC is .15% or more)

$1,000

Up to $10,000 (if BAC is .15% or more)

$1,000

License Revocation

6 months

1 year (if BAC .15% or more)

60 days

1 year (if BAC .15% or more)

18 months

18 months to 15 years (if BAC .15% or more)

18 months

18 months to 15 years (if BAC .15% or more)

15 years

2 to 15 years

5 to 15 years (if BAC .15% or more)

Ignition Interlock Permit

Eligible

45 days before eligible (if BAC .15% or more)

Eligible

45 days before eligible

45 days before eligible

45 days before eligible

45 days before eligible

Implied Consent and Refusing Chemical Testing in Nebraska

Nebraska’s implied consent law requires all drivers lawfully arrested for DUI to submit to breath, blood, and/or urine testing.

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will revoke the license of any motorist who fails or refuses to submit to chemical testing. Generally, a BAC of .08% or more is deemed a failed test. However, for a person who holds a commercial driver’s license, a BAC of .04% or more is considered a failed test. And for a person under 21 years of age, a BAC of .02% or more is a failed test.

If a motorist fails a chemical test and doesn’t have any prior license revocations, the DMV will impose a 180-day license revocation. If the driver has one or more prior revocations in the last 15 years, the revocation is for one year. Drivers who refuse to take a test will face a one-year revocation.

In Nebraska, refusing a chemical test is generally a crime for which jail and fines can be imposed. 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

License Revocation

180 days

18 months to 15 years

15 years

If the defendant is placed on probation or the sentence is suspended for refusing a chemical test, the revocation periods are as follows:

1st Offense

2nd offense

3rd Offense

License Revocation

60 days

18 months to 15 years

5 to 15 years

Other Penalties Imposed for DUI Convictions in Nebraska

All DUI offenders must complete an alcohol assessment and the recommended treatment program. The offender is usually responsible for all fees associated with treatment.

For second and subsequent convictions, the defendant can be required to use an alcohol monitoring device and abstain from alcohol use during the license revocation period.

In some circumstances, the court will require all vehicles owned by the defendant to be immobilized for at least five days but not more than eight months. However, the court generally allows the defendant to obtain an ignition interlock (IID) permit and install an IID as an alternative to immobilization.

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