What Driving Drunk Will Cost You in the Cornhusker State
Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney, North Platte, and every other city in the state of Nebraska has the same laws when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol – those who are found to be driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The penalties for being convicted of DUI in Nebraska are harsh and can easily derail someone’s future personal, professional, and financial life.
Penalties for First Time DUI Offenders in Nebraska
Each state has outlined their own set of penalties in regards to driving under the influence but all states will generally employ a combination of a license suspension, possible jail time, and fines that are associated with being convicted of DUI. In the state of Nebraska, these penalties are very harsh – first time offenders of DUI in this state will generally face the following consequences:
- 7 to 60 Days in Jail
- Fines of Up to $500
- A License Suspension of 60 Days
Nebraska also currently enforces a 15-year lookback period, which means that anyone who has a DUI conviction within the last 15 years will be charged with a second or third offense depending on the circumstances. The penalties for repeat offenders are much harsher and include a fine of up to $1,000 for second time offenders and a fine of up to $10,000 for third time offenders.
The Cost of DUI Before You Are Convicted
When a DUI traffic stop occurs and the individual is taken into custody, it is likely the vehicle will be towed and taken to the local impound lot. Unless the office allows someone else to pick up the vehicle, the owner of the car will be responsible for paying for the towing and storage fees in order to get the vehicle back out of impound when released.
Should the offender need to be held in jail, which usually occurs when there are aggravating circumstances such as a minor being present while the offender was driving under the influence or if an accident occurred as a result of drunk driving, there will likely be bail set for his or her release. Bail for a Driving Under the Influence charge is usually between $500 and $5,000 (a percentage of that amount will need to be paid in order for the offender to be released). Usually, individuals will need to get assistance from family members, friends, or hire a bail bondsman in order to be released.
Once the individual has been formally charged with DUI, he or she will receive a date to appear in court to begin the trial. Before this date, it is in his or her best interest to find a DUI lawyer who is knowledgeable in the laws of the state of Nebraska for representation in court. Every lawyer and law firm will have a different fee scale, whether it is an hourly fee or a flat fee – offenders should expect to pay between $1,500 and $10,000 for the services of a good lawyer.
The Cost of DUI After You Are Convicted
After the offender has gone through the trial and been found guilty of DUI, he or she will then be faced with having to pay the fines associated with the crime. As mentioned, first time offenders will pay fines up to $500, second time offenders up to $1,000, and third time offenders up to $10,000. It is important to note these fines are not the same in all states and each individual state will have different fine amounts for the crime of DUI. The only thing that is relatively consistent is repeat offenders having to pay higher fines than first time offenders.
Will My Car Insurance Increase Because of a DUI?
The short answer to this question is yes – it is inevitable the cost of an offender’s car insurance will increase because of a DUI conviction. The only question that remains is how much. It is important to keep in mind each insurance provider will have a different calculation when it comes to increasing someone’s car insurance rate. This is done to help cover the increased risk the individual will be involved in an accident or need to make a claim based on past risky driving behavior.
When it comes to DUI conviction and car insurance in the state of Nebraska, car insurance companies in this state are harsher than average when it comes to penalizing policy holders. An individual who is convicted of DUI will generally see car insurance rates increase by just over 95 percent, which will add approximately $70 to the monthly premium payment. As mentioned, this increase will be different for all insurance agencies and will also vary based on the type of policy the individual has.
How You Can Avoid a Costly DUI Conviction
When all of the financial penalties for DUI are added together, those who are convicted can expect to pay upwards of $40,000 for this mistake. This does not take into account any lost wages they may have and other expenses they may incur as a result of drinking and driving. In the end, the only way to avoid the cost of a DUI is to not drink and drive – always remember to drink responsibly and use the services of public transportation or appoint a sober driving to make sure everyone makes it home safely.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.