Although we all know by now that there are potentially serious consequences for driving under the influence, or DUI, lapses in judgment can still occur. A lapse in judgment can lead to being pulled over and investigated for DUI. If the officer believes you are indeed driving under the influence, you will be arrested and taken to jail where you will likely be asked to submit to a chemical breath test. If this all sounds familiar because it recently happened to you, but you refused to submit to the breath test, you may be wondering if a Nebraska DUI attorney can help you. The simple answer is that you are always better off with the assistance of an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney when you are facing charges for driving under the influence. While your DUI attorney can evaluate and advise you with regard to your specific situation, it may also be beneficial to learn more about Nebraska’s Administrative License Revocation, or ALR, law.
What Is “Implied Consent?”
Most states, including Nebraska, now have what is referred to as an “implied consent” law. An implied consent law effectively says that when you decide to operate a motor vehicle upon the public roadways within the state and/or obtain a driver’s license in the state you give your “implied consent” to submit to a chemical test if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence and/or if you have been arrested for driving under the influence. Despite the implied consent law in the State of Nebraska you do still retain the right to refuse chemical test; however, refusing has its own consequences separate and apart from any consequences you face if convicted of the underlying DUI charges.
What Happens If You Refuse in Nebraska? Understanding Nebraska’s ALR Law
When you are stopped and investigated for driving under the influence the officer will decide if there is probable cause for your arrest. If you are ultimately arrested, the officer will ask you to submit to a chemical test when you arrive at the station or jail. Typically, you will be asked to submit to a chemical breath test. If you fail the test you will definitely be charged with DUI. If you fail the chemical test your driver’s license will also be confiscated pursuant to Nebraska’s ALR law. If, however, you refuse to submit to the test, that refusal will also result in the confiscation of your driver’s license. A chemical test failure results in a 180-day revocation of your driving privileges for a first-time offense while a refusal results in a one-year revocation. The officer will provide you with a 15-day temporary license which you may use to operate a motor vehicle for that period of time. If you failed the test you may be eligible for an ignition interlock permit after the 15-day period ends; however, if you refused the chemical test you are not eligible for an ignition interlock permit, or IIP. An IIP requires you to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, on your vehicle. An IID is a device that tests for alcohol on your breath, much like a mini-breath test. If alcohol is detected the vehicle will not start. A motorist with an IIP may drive anywhere for any reason as long as the IID remains installed in the vehicle. If your license was confiscated because the officer alleged that you refused the ALR, but you don’t agree that you refused, you have a right to contest the ALR; however, you must request a hearing within ten days.
How Can a DUI Attorney Help?
An experienced Nebraska DUI attorney can help you in a number of important ways if you refused the chemical test, or if the officer alleged that you refused the test. Often, a motorist makes an honest attempt to perform the chemical test but is unable to for a variety of valid reasons. When that is the case, challenging the refusal is often the best option because you should not have to suffer the additional consequences if you did not actually refuse the test. Even if you did actually refuse the chemical test, the lack of a test result may be beneficial when developing a defense for the underlying DUI charges.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.