Over the last several decades there has been a concerted effort by both private advocacy groups and public agencies to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. Those efforts have largely paid off as the number of drinking and driving fatalities across the country has decreased significantly. By now, most people think they know the basics about driving under the influence, of DUI. Do you know as much as you think you do about DUI in Nebraska? To find out, consider the following top 5 DUI myths:
- You can’t argue with the breath test results. In today’s high tech world we have all been led to believe that machines don’t lie and/or that they are infallible. Specifically, breath test machines have been touted as the #1 weapon in the fight against drinking and driving. The reality is that even when a breath test machine is properly calibrated, properly maintained, and the test is properly administered it can still provide an inaccurate result because the science on which it is based is flawed. Add to that the likelihood that the machine hasn’t been calibrated or maintained properly and the fact that many times the officer administering the test has not been properly trained and you have a significant likelihood of an inaccurate result.
- Driving while “high” (under the influence of drugs) isn’t a big deal and/or cannot be proven by the police. Simply not true. Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6, 196 reads as follows:
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; (Emphasis added)
The truth is that you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) if a law enforcement officer suspects drug use. Typically, you will then be given a blood test (or urine in some cases) instead of a breath test because a breath test machine cannot detect the presence of drugs in your system.
- The best way to avoid a DUI conviction is to refuse the breath test. Nebraska, like most states, has an implied consent law that effectively says you gave your consent to take a chemical test if you are arrested for DUI. Nonetheless, you do have the right to refuse the test; however, doing so will result in an administrative license revocation of one year. Moreover, it does not guarantee you will avoid a conviction for DUI. Nebraska’s DUI law allows a conviction if it can be proven that a motorist operated a motor vehicle “While under the influence of alcoholic liquor…” Having a breath alcohol content (BAC) test result of 0.08 percent or above is one way to prove a DUI charge; however, it is not the only way for the prosecutor to secure a conviction.
- All plea agreements are the same. Simply not true. A plea agreement is negotiated just like any other agreement. As such, all the terms of the agreement are potentially negotiable. This is one of many reasons why you should have an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney on your side, even if you plan to plead guilty.
- You cannot get your license back early if it has been revoked for 15 years. Most people are led to believe there is no way to get their license back after a 15 year revocation; however, it may be possible with the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney by revisiting the sentencing court or through the Pardons Board.