Advocacy groups have maintained a fairly successful campaign against drunk driving in the Unites States. As a result, laws in most states have been strengthened and punishments increased for alcohol/drug related driving offenses. Today, an arrest for driving under the influence in Omaha comes with serious consequences from the moment of the arrest and extending for many years after the conviction. For this reason we are often asked “Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Omaha Nebraska?”
There is no simple answer to that question. Unlike some states such as California, Nebraska does not have a “wet reckless” offense that is automatically considered when the facts of a driving under the influence, or DUI, arrest are weak. That does not necessarily mean that an Omaha Nebraska DUI cannot be pleaded down to a lesser offense. When it appears that the State of Nebraska will have a difficult time proving all of the elements of a DUI charge, a skilled criminal defense attorney will often try and negotiate the charge down to a lesser offense such as willful reckless driving or reckless driving. If the facts are particularly favorable to the accused, the decision may be made to take the case to trial in the hope of receiving an acquittal of the charges.
What Is DUI in Omaha Nebraska?
The State may prove a DUI by showing either that the driver had a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of 0.08 percent or more or if the driver has appreciable impairment to driving. Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,196 states:
(1) 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;
(b) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or
(c) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath.
A motorist can be convicted of DUI solely based on the prosecution proving that the defendant was “under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug.” This allows for the possibility of a conviction without BAC results or even with BAC results of less than 0.08 percent.
The Nebraska DUI law only applies to operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway or private property open to the public. Omaha also has a city ordinance that is very similar to the Nebraska statute. However, the city ordinance applies everywhere and not just to public roadways.
An experienced Omaha Nebraska DUI attorney can review and evaluate the facts and circumstances of your DUI case and provide you with an opinion with regard to whether it is likely that you will be able to plead your DUI in Omaha Nebraska down to a lesser charge.