No one sets out to get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). In fact, most people who find themselves in a jail cell facing DUI charges genuinely thought they were under the limit when they got behind the wheel of their vehicle. While a small percentage of DUI offenders are repeat offenders, the average DUI defendant is an otherwise law abiding citizen. Consequently, most people are unaware of the potentially life altering, and certainly far reaching, consequences of even a first-time DUI conviction. To help ensure that you know what is at stake, a Sarpy County DUI lawyer explains the potential consequences of a first-time DUI conviction in Nebraska.
Nebraska DUI Laws
The criminal offense of driving under the influence in the State of Nebraska is governed by Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 196 which states, in pertinent part:
(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.
There are two important points you should understand from the statute that you may not already know with regard to the offense of driving under the influence. First, you can be charged and convicted of DUI for being under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol. Second, the State does not have to prove that you had a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above to convict you of DUI. Subsection (a) allows for the possibility of a conviction if the prosecutor can prove that you were “under the influence” without introducing the results of a chemical test. Although it is harder to prove driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) as well as to secure a conviction for DUI without introducing the results of a chemical test showing a BAC of over 0.08 percent, you should know that both are possible.
Judicial Penalties of a First-Time Conviction for DUI
When considering the consequences of a DUI conviction, it is important to take into consideration both the judicial penalties and the non-judicial ramifications of the conviction. The penalties for a first-time DUI conviction can be increased if the offense is considered to be “aggravated.” For a non-aggravated first-time DUI conviction, the penalties may include:
- Minimum of 7 days in jail
- Maximum of 60 days in jail
- $500 fine
- 6-month license suspension
- If you are given probation you will lose your license for 60 days and be required to install an ignition interlock device as well as pay a $400 fine.
An “aggravated” DUI is one in which your BAC level was tested at 0.15 percent or above, almost twice the legal limit. If you are convicted of an aggravated DUI, the penalties you face include:
- Minimum jail time of 7 days
- Maximum jail time 60 days
- Fine of $500
- License suspension of one year
- Alcohol assessment and treatment if deemed necessary
- Shall apply for an ignition interlock device
- If you are given probation you must pay a $500 fine, lose your license for a year and either do two days in jail or perform 120 hours of community service work
Non-Judicial Consequences of a First-Time DUI Conviction
Along with the judicial penalties imposed by the judge at your sentencing, you will also face a number of additional negative consequences as a result of a first-time DUI conviction, including:
- Significant increase in car insurance rates that will typically last 3-5 years
- Professional discipline
- Loss of current job
- Disqualification for future employment
- Negative impact on immigration change of status request
- Negative affect on visitation arrangements with minor children
Contact a Sarpy County DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of Nebraska, contact an Sarpy County DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.