For even the most law abiding motorist, seeing flashing lights in the rear view mirror is not generally a good sign. If you have been drinking when you see the flashing lights, it definitely does not bode well for you. If you find yourself in that situation, the police officer making the traffic stop will likely take you through a typical driving under the influence (DUI) investigation to determine if he/she has probable cause to make an arrest for DUI. If the officer does decide to arrest you, the next stop is usually the police station or jail where you will be asked to submit to a chemical test to check for alcohol in your system. Although you retain the right to refuse to submit to a chemical test, Nebraska’s implied consent law imposes a penalty for your refusal that is separate and apart from any penalties imposed for an actual DUI conviction. In order to help you make an informed decision if you are ever asked to submit to a chemical test, an Omaha DUI defense attorney explains the Nebraska implied consent law.
The Chemical Test
Most people are familiar with the idea behind a breath test, the chemical test of choice for most law enforcement agencies. You may be asked to submit to a field breath test before you are placed under arrest; however, the results of that test are not admissible in court. They can, however, be used to form the probable cause necessary to place you under arrest. The formal breath test will not be administered until you have already been arrested and arrive at the station/jail. There are three types of chemical tests that can test for the presence of alcohol in your system – blood, breath, and urine. The breath test is favored because it is fairly accurate, when administered properly under a controlled environment, and because it is less invasive and less expensive than the other types of chemical tests. A blood or urine test may be used, however, if the officer suspects that you are under the influence of a controlled substance because a breath test can only detect alcohol.
Your Right to Refuse
When you arrive at the station/jail the arresting officer should explain the request for a chemical test and tell you that you have the right to refuse the test, but at a cost. In other words, you can refuse to submit to the breath test; however, you will face a penalty for doing so.
Nebraska’s Implied Consent Law
In recent years, most states have enacted what are referred to as “implied consent laws.” Although the language varies from one state to another, the basic concept is the same. These laws effectively state that because you drive a vehicle in the state, or have a driver’s license from the state, and have been arrested and charged with a DUI, you give your implied consent to submit to a chemical test. In the State of Nebraska, Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,197 is where you can find the state’s implied consent law, which reads as follows:
“Any person who operates or has in his or her actual physical control a motor vehicle in this state shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to a chemical test or tests of his or her blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the concentration of alcohol or the presence of drugs in such blood, breath, or urine.”
The Penalties for Refusing
Refusing a chemical test in the State of Nebraska is a criminal offense that is punishable by up to a 90-day license revocation. This license revocation is in addition to any license revocation you receive if you are ultimately convicted of a DUI. Furthermore, you could still be convicted of DUI without the results of a chemical test. Nebraska’s DUI laws do not require the results of a chemical test to convict a motorist, they just make it easier to secure a conviction with the chemical test.
Does an Omaha DUI Defense Attorney Suggest You Refuse?
Because every motorist has a unique set of current facts and past history, it is impossible to provide advice on whether it is wise for you to refuse the chemical test or not. If you are concerned about what decision you should make if you are ever in that situation, you should consult with an experienced Omaha DUI defense attorney ahead of time.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska contact the Omaha DUI defense lawyers Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.