Third DUI Offense in Nebraska

The administrative and criminal penalties for a third DUI in Nebraska.

Under Nebraska state law, it’s illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle:

For purposes of Nebraska’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws, operating a motor vehicle includes being in “actual physical control” of a vehicle. And a person is considered “under the influence” if the person’s ability to safely drive a vehicle is impaired to any “appreciable degree.

Generally, there are administrative (license-related) consequences following a DUI arrest. In addition to the administrative penalties, criminal penalties are imposed if the defendant is convicted of DUI in court.

Administrative Penalties

License revocation. The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will administratively revoke the license of any driver who’s arrested for DUI and fails or refuses to take a blood, breath, and/or urine test. In most circumstances, a BAC of .08% or more is considered a failed test. The revocation periods are:

  • one year for a failed test if the driver has one or more prior license revocations in the last 15 years, and
  • one year for refusing to take a chemical test.

Typically, the arresting officer will take possession of the offender’s license and issue a temporary license that’s valid for 15 days.

Ignition interlock permit. The motorist can petition for an administrative hearing to contest the license revocation. However, motorists who waive the hearing are eligible to apply for an ignition interlock permit to use during the revocation period.

Offenders who had a BAC of .08% or more and a prior license revocation within the last 15 years, will be issued the permit after completing 60 days of the revocation period. Offenders who refused testing will not receive the permit until completing 105 days of the revocation period.

Criminal Penalties

The criminal penalties imposed for a third DUI depend on the defendant’s BAC and whether probation or a suspended sentence is granted. Penalties are usually more severe if the defendant’s BAC was .15% or more. If probation or a suspended sentence is imposed, generally the defendant is sentenced to jail, but is allowed to serve all or part of the time on probation.

Conviction Sentence

BAC less than .15%. A third DUI conviction involving a BAC of less than .15% is a class W misdemeanor and carries:

  • 90 days to one year in jail
  • a $1,000 fine
  • a 15-year license revocation, and
  • immobilization of all vehicles owned by the defendant for five days to eight months.

As an alternative to immobilization, the judge can require the defendant to apply for an ignition interlock permit. Following a minimum 45-day no driving period, the offender can drive with the permit and an IID installed in the offender’s vehicle during the revocation period.

BAC .15% or more. A third DUI conviction is a class IIIA felony if the defendant had a BAC of .15% or more or refused a chemical test. The maximum sentence is three years imprisonment and 18 months post-release supervision and/or a $10,000 fine. The minimum sentence is 180 days imprisonment and nine months post-release supervision.

The convicted motorist will also face a 15-year license revocation and all vehicles owned by the defendant will be immobilized for at least five days but not more than eight months. Instead of immobilization, the defendant can be required to apply for an ignition interlock permit and install an IID after a 45-day no driving period.

Probation or Suspended Sentence

BAC less than .15%. Third offenders with a probationary sentence and a BAC that’s less than .15% will face:

  • 30 days in jail
  • a $1,000 fine, and
  • a license revocation for two to 15 years.

The offender is prohibited from driving for 45 days and must obtain an ignition interlock permit. The defendant is required to install an IID for at least one year or for the revocation period, whichever period is longer.

BAC .15% or more. Probationary sentences for third offenses involving a BAC of .15% or more include:

  • 60 days in jail
  • a $1,000 fine, and
  • a license revocation for five to 15 years (the offender must apply for an ignition interlock permit during the period of revocation following a 45-day no-driving period).

After the defendant is released from jail, the offender must use an alcohol monitoring device and abstain from alcohol use for at least 60 days.


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