Most people who find themselves accused of a criminal offense worry about the outcome of the case and, in particular, about any penalties that might be imposed if convicted. In most cases, that means judicial penalties ordered by the court at a sentencing, including incarceration, probation, and/or fines. If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), however, many of the non-judicial consequences of a conviction are every bit as worrisome as the judicial penalties. The very real possibility of losing your driving privileges for a significant period of time, for example, is often one of the most immediate concerns after being arrested for DUI. To help ensure that you understand those penalties, a Nebraska DUI lawyer explains the license revocation penalties.
Some Legal Basics – Administrative vs. Judicial Authority
For everyone who does not happen to be a lawyer, it helps to first explain a commonly misunderstood nuance of the law, that being the distinction between an administrative and judicial revocation. In the State of Nebraska, as is the case in many states now, you can lose your driving privileges through an administrative action or a judicial order. Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-498.01 through 60-498.04 governs Administrative License Revocations (ALR) whereas Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-6, 196 through 60-6, 211.09 governs driving under the influence. Both, however, provide for the legal authority to revoke your driving privileges as a result of driving under the influence. The difference in authority is often subtle, but can be important because it can determine what options you may have for fighting the revocation and/or getting your license reinstated.
What Happens Immediately after Your Arrest?
Pursuant to Nebraska’s ALR rules, your driver’s license can be revoked immediately following an arrest for DUI. The law authorizes a law enforcement officer to immediately confiscate your driver’s license at the time of your arrest. Drivers, who are eligible, may receive a temporary license for 15 days. The amount of time your license is revoked will depend on whether this is your first DUI and whether or not you submitted to the chemical test. Revocation periods are as follows:
- 180 days – for first offense (for failure of test)
- One (1) year – for subsequent offense within a 15 year time period (for failure of test)
- One (1) year – for refusal to take the test
You have the right to contest the immediate revocation of your license; however, you must do so within 10 days of being served with the Notice of Revocation. In addition, if you do choose to contest the initial revocation, you will not be eligible for an Ignition Interlock Permit (IIP). Keep in mind that if you contest the license revocation, the hearing that follows is not intended to decide if you were driving under the influence. Instead, it is a hearing to decide issues such as if the officer had probable cause to request the chemical test, whether or not you actually refused the test, and/or whether you were operating a vehicle at the time.
If you do not choose to contest the ALR, you may be eligible for an IIP after the temporary 15 day license expires. The IIP allows you to drive under restrictions, namely that you install, at your expense, an ignition interlock device that requires you to blow into it each time you wish to drive. If the device detects the presence of alcohol on your breath you will not be able to start the vehicle.
If you are ultimately convicted of driving under the influence, there may be additional license revocation penalties imposed by the sentencing court. These penalties, if imposed, may be in addition to any period of revocation required by the ALR laws. This is a frequent source of confusion to defendant’s and is one of the many reasons why you should consult with an experienced DUI attorney immediately after being arrested to ensure that you understand the current status of your driving privileges as well as any possible penalties you face if convicted.
Contact a Nebraska DUI Lawyer at Petersen Law Office
If you were recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska, contact a DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.