As a result of efforts by both private advocacy groups and public agencies over the last several decades, most states have dramatically increased the penalties for violations of their alcohol related driving offenses. Nebraska is one of those states. A conviction for even a first time charge of driving under the influence, or DUI, can lead to significant negative consequences. If you are facing a DUI charge for the second time, the possible consequences of a conviction increase substantially. Because of the numerous factors that can impact your specific range of penalties if convicted of DUI for a second time in Nebraska it is always in your best interest to have an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney review your case and provide your with individualized advice; however, it may be beneficial to have a general idea of what the Nebraska DUI laws for a second offense are in the meantime.
Nebraska’s DUI Law
Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,196 is where Nebraska’s general DUI law can be found which reads as follows:
Driving under influence of alcoholic liquor or drug; penalties.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle:
(a) While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug;
(b) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or
(c) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath.
(2) Any person who operates or is in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle while in a condition described in subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of a crime and upon conviction punished as provided in sections 60-6,197.02 to 60-6,197.08.
What Factors Impact Your Potential DUI Sentence?
Nebraska’s basic DUI statute makes it a crime to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and/or with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. There are, however, several factors that can increase the severity of a DUI if they are present, including:
- Significantly higher BAC level
- Accident causing injury or death
- A previous conviction for the same, or a similar, offense
How Does a Previous Conviction Impact the Potential Penalties for a DUI?
A defendant’s criminal history, or lack thereof, is always relevant when considering the potential sentence if convicted of a new charge. Sometimes, a defendant’s criminal history is only relevant in a general sense, meaning that the judge may take the fact that the defendant has been convicted of something into consideration when deciding on a sentence. The potential penalties for other offenses, however, are statutorily increased if the instant offense is a second or subsequent conviction. Driving under the influence is one such offense. Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-6,197.03 sets forth the potential penalties for a second, or subsequent, conviction for DUI. Some of those increased penalties include:
- Subsection (3) calls for an 18 month license revocation, an increase from the six month revocation required for a first time DUI. Furthermore, the defendant cannot drive for 45 days and must install an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least one year. A $500 fine applies and the defendant must spend at least two days in jail or perform 120 hours of community service work.
- Subsection (5) applies if the defendant has one previous conviction and had a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher as part of the instant offense. The instant offense is raised to a Class I misdemeanor and the defendant must pay a $1,000 fine. In addition, the defendant’s license shall be revoked for at least 18 months and up to 15 years. Finally, the court must order the defendant to 90 days in jail; however, if the sentence is suspended or the commuted to a probation sentence, the defendant must still serve at least 30 days in jail.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska for the second, or subsequent, time it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI lawyer to ensure that you understand the potential penalties you face if convicted. Contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.