Nebraska DUI Laws (All You Need to Know)

Nebraska DUI Laws (All You Need to Know)

Everyone knows you shouldn’t drink and drive.

But how much alcohol is too much?

How familiar are you with the laws surrounding DUI in Nebraska?

What are the penalties for a DUI in the state?

Here, you’re going to know all you need to know about Nebraska DUI laws. We’ll first look at the laws, then the penalties, to the dangers of DUI, and answer some FAQs. 

We have all the information you need. 

So let’s get started! 

DUI Laws in Nebraska

In Nebraska, there are 5 laws all relating to DUI. These are:

  • Illegal BAC levels
  • Zero-tolerance law
  • Drugs and driving
  • Implied Consent law
  • Open Container law

Let’s look at each one in detail. 

Illegal BAC Levels 

Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) indicates how much alcohol is in your system. 

Now, in Nebraska, you are considered drunk driving if your BAC level reaches 0.08% or higher. That’s about 4 alcoholic drinks for the average person. 

If you hold a commercial driver’s license, the illegal BAC level is even lower at 0.04%

Zero-Tolerance Law

Because the legal drinking age in Nebraska is 21, the state does not tolerate underage drinking and driving. In turn, this means that a BAC level as low as 0.02% will already be considered illegal. 

Drugs and Driving 

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that impairs your driving. You can get a DUI charge if you’ve taken drugs, too.

And remember that this doesn’t just cover illegal drugs. 

Many medications — whether prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter — can impact your driving ability. If you show signs of impaired driving, that can lead to a DUI charge, no matter the drug you took. 

If your doctor administers treatment involving medication, ask him about the possible side effects. It’s crucial, especially if you drive regularly — you don’t want to be caught and charged with DUI for something that is supposed to help you. 

Implied Consent Law

The Implied Consent law automatically applies to all drivers that hold a Nebraska driver’s license. 

Under this law, you are required to take a chemical test if a police officer suspects you of DUI and pulls you over. As you might guess, this test will then show your BAC level. 

You can refuse to take the blood, breath, or urine chemical test, but you’ll face the consequence. The administrative penalty is a 1-year license revocation. 

The criminal penalty is also license revocation, but the length depends on whether or not you’re a repeat offender:

  • First offense: 180 days
  • Second offense: 18 months to 15 years
  • Third offense: 15 years

If a judge suspends your sentence for refusing a chemical test or puts you on probation, your license revocation lasts for:

  • First offense: 60 days
  • Second offense: 18 months to 15 years
  • Third offense: 5 to 15 years

On top of that, you can still be charged with DUI, even without the chemical test results. So it’s always best to just comply and take it. 

Open Container Law

The Open Container law states…

“You or any of your passengers cannot have open containers of alcoholic beverages while in a moving vehicle.” 

Under Nebraska’s law, you have an open container if it meets the following:

  • It has a broken seal
  • Some of its content is missing (regardless of whether you ingested it or not)

You’ll pay a fine of up to $100 for a first offense. However, the amount may increase to as much as $500 on your second and subsequent violations.

That said, the Open Container law has several exemptions. 

For example, it does not apply to authorized buses and limos with a partition between the driver and passengers.

Another exemption is open alcoholic containers you put outside the passenger areas of your vehicle, such as your trunk.

DUI Penalties in Nebraska

The consequences of a DUI conviction in Nebraska are extensive. You risk paying a fine, license revocation, IID installation, and even jail time.

The table below details these.

OffenseFinesJail TimeLicense RevocationIgnition Interlock Permit
1st$5007 to 60 days6 months
1 year*
45 days before becoming eligible*
2nd$500 Up to $1,000*30 to 180 days 90 days to 1 year*18 months 18 months to 15 years*45 days before becoming eligible
3rd$1,000 Up to $10,000*90 days to 1 year 180 days to 3 years*15 years45 days before becoming eligible

*If BAC level reaches 0.15% or higher

If the judge suspends your sentence, it doesn’t mean getting off scot-free. There will be changes in the penalties, as you can see from the table below:

OffenseFinesJail TimeLicense RevocationIgnition Interlock Permit
1st$5002 to 60 days or 120 hours of community service*60 days 1 year*Eligible
2nd$500Up to $1,000*10 to 180 days or 240 hours of community service 30 days*18 months 18 months to 15 years*45 days before becoming eligible
3rd$1,00030 days 60 days*2 to 15 years 5 to 15 years*45 days before becoming eligible

*If BAC level reaches 0.15% or higher

Dangers of DUI

There’s a reason why Nebraska enacts strict laws and penalties for a DUI. Having alcohol in your system significantly reduces your ability to drive. In turn, that puts everyone at risk. 

Here are some effects of driving under the influence:

  • Decreased reaction time
  • Reduced concentration
  • Difficulty with hand-eye coordination
  • Poor judgment and decisions

All these increase the likelihood of getting into an accident. It puts you and anyone who shares the road with you in danger — and nobody wants that. 


As promised, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI in Nebraska. This way, you get even more information. 

Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI in Nebraska?

Yes, you’re likely to lose your license after a DUI charge in Nebraska, even if it’s your first offense.

How likely is jail time for the first DUI in Nebraska?

You may spend a minimum of 7 days in jail after a first DUI conviction in Nebraska. That said, it can be reduced to at least 2 days of jail time if the judge decides to suspend your sentence.

How many points is a DUI in Nebraska?

You earn 6 points on your license on your first and second DUI offenses. A third or subsequent violation makes you a repeat offender, so the points are higher — it becomes 12 points for each instance. 

What makes a DUI a felony in Nebraska?

A fourth DUI conviction is an automatic felony. Your first, second, and third are typically misdemeanors.

However, your third offense becomes a class IIIA felony if you refuse to take a blood, breath, or chemical test. The same applies if your BAC reaches 0.15%.

Another class IIIA felony is a DUI resulting in serious injury. It becomes a class IIA felony if you cause an accident resulting in death. 

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Nebraska?

5 years. A DUI conviction classifies you as a high-risk driver, especially to auto insurance companies. So for those 5 years, finding affordable coverage may be challenging.

How do you beat a DUI in Nebraska?

A DUI charge isn’t always an open-and-shut case. It pays to look at several angles before agreeing to a plea bargain.

Here are some areas you can dive into — these may help you avoid a conviction:

  • Did the law enforcement officer have probable cause to pull you over and arrest you?
  • Are you assured of the accuracy of the chemical test results?
  • Do you have medical or dietary factors that could have affected your BAC?
  • Did the law enforcement officer properly administer the sobriety or preliminary breath test?

When all else fails, don’t hesitate to get yourself a legal adviser to help understand your options and get you through the process.

Can you get a diversion for DUI in Nebraska?

Yes, you can enroll in a diversion program in Nebraska if you meet the qualifications. It’s an excellent way to prevent a criminal conviction from going to your record.

You can get more information about Nebraska’s diversion program from the National Safety Council’s website.

The Wrap Up

And that was everything you needed to know about Nebraska DUI laws. 

Now that you know all these laws and the penalties that follow, it will hopefully scare you away from drunk driving. 

Remember, it’s never safe. Besides avoiding the penalties, it will ensure safety for all. 


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