Nebraska, like most states, frowns on impaired driving. There are strict laws against driving under the influence, and lawmakers are constantly attempting to change laws to reduce the number of people injured and killed in drunk driving accidents.
In recent years, the law on impaired driving in Nebraska got expanded to include aggravated DUI charges. Anyone accused of an aggravated DUI will face more serious penalties, as well as potential felony charges. Understanding what differentiates a standard DUI from an aggravated DUI in Nebraska is important for anyone who could find themselves facing impaired driving charges.
The amount of alcohol in your body is a key factor
As you most likely already know, there is a legal limit to what blood alcohol concentration you can have and legally drive a vehicle. If chemical testing indicates that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, you will likely find yourself facing DUI charges.
While 0.08 percent is the baseline for impaired driving, it is not the only cut-off in the criminal code in Nebraska. The law also has another limit listed for those with extremely high BAC tests. After all, the more you drink, the more impaired you become.
As a result, anyone accused of driving with a BAC of more than 0.15 percent will face aggravated DUI charges if they get caught by law enforcement in Nebraska. This law on aggravated DUI penalties mirrors so-called “super drunk” laws in other states that increase the criminal charges and penalties associated with driving when you have an extremely high BAC.
Aggravated DUI charges are more serious than standard DUI charges
While it is certainly true that any allegation of driving under the influence can have significant consequences, aggravated DUI charges in Nebraska are particularly serious. You will have a longer license revocation, as well as a requirement to install an ignition interlock device if you receive probation instead of jail time.
If the person charged with an aggravated DUI has a previous DUI conviction, even in another state, they could face up to a year in jail and the loss of their license for as long as 15 years. Having a blood alcohol level of nearly double the legal limit could result in felony DUI charges. If a person has a BAC of more than 0.15 percent and two previous DUI convictions, the result will be a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.
Anyone accused of an aggravated DUI should explore their options to protect themselves against the consequences of such a serious criminal charge. In fact, the risk of a felony charge for future DUI infractions could be a valid reason to defend against simple DUI charges, even if it’s a first charge.