Since the crackdown on drunk driving started several decades ago,, law enforcement agencies across the country have honed their strategies for identifying and arresting motorists who are driving under the influence (DUI). One of those strategies is to increase enforcement efforts during times when people are historically likely to be drinking to celebrate a holiday. St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays when everyone, the Irish and the Irish for a day, like to drink. It should come as no surprise then that the Omaha police chose St. Patrick’s day to crack down on drunk drivers this year, making numerous arrests.
Drunk Drivers Arrested Over St. Patrick’s Holiday
According to a recent news story, law enforcement agencies in Omaha, Nebraska, arrested 30 motorists for driving under the influence (DUI) during the week leading up to and including St. Patrick’s Day this year (2018).
Of the 30 arrests for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, 22 were first-time offenders. Police said five DUI arrests were second offenses, two were for felony DUI and one was for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). In addition, officers issued 97 tickets for speeding and 93 for insurance violations. Other traffic citations issued included.
- Other moving violations: 144
- Seatbelt violations: 27
- Careless driving/negligent driving: 5
- Driving during suspension: 16
- Open container: 2
- Possession of marijuana, less than one ounce: 3
- Possession of drug equipment: 3
The special enforcement, which included high-visibility patrols on St. Patrick’s Day, began March 9 and concluded Saturday night. As part of the stepped-up enforcement effort, 28 extra Omaha Police Officers covered a 20-hour time frame on St. Patrick’s Day throughout the entire city. It was made possible by a $16,628 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety.
A similar crack down on drunk drivers in Lincoln, Nebraska led to three motorists being arrested for driving while intoxicated and 32 warning tickets being issued for various traffic offenses, police said.
Potential Penalties for a DUI Arrest
An arrest for DUI in Nebraska can lead to some fairly serious consequences, even before the issue of guilt has been adjudicated. Nebraska’s Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law allows the arresting officer to immediately confiscate your driver’s license. You will be furnished with a 15-day temporary license. From this point you have 10 days to request a hearing where you can challenge the license revocation; however, if you choose to do so you will give up your right to ask for an Ignition Interlock Permit (IIP). An IIP allows you to continue driving, for essential transport needs such as driving to work, school, a treatment center, and back home, if you install, at your own cost, an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The IIP is for first-time DUI defendants.
If you are ultimately convicted of a first-time DUI, you will have a conviction for a Class W misdemeanor on your permanent record. You will lose your driver’s license for up to six months and will be responsible for a minimum of seven days in jail and a $400 fine or a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The court may give you probation for your first offense DUI sentence in lieu of jail time. If so, you will receive a 60-day revocation of your driver’s license and pay a $500 fine. You will have to have an Ignition Interlock Permit added to your vehicle during the time of your license revocation.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming a conviction is a foregone conclusion. There are frequently defenses available to a charge of driving under the influence; however, you must consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI lawyer to find out if any of those defenses apply in your case.
Contact a Nebraska DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of Nebraska, contact an Omaha DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUID defense lawyer.