In the state of Nebraska, driving while impaired by alcohol is considered a criminal act. The state legislature has passed drunk driving laws applicable to anyone who lives in or visits the state of Nebraska and who drives on Nebraska’s roads. No matter where you are in Nebraska, you can be pulled over by any deputized peace officer or law enforcement officer including someone who works for the Nebraska State Patrol or a local police department. In the city of Omaha, however, you can be charged not only with a state crime for impaired driving but you may be charged under the city ordinance related for driving while intoxicated.
Omaha has its own DUI laws, which are found in City Ordinance 36-115. If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer within the city limits of Omaha, you can be charged under this specific ordinance. The ordinance differs slightly from the general Nebraska laws applying to all motorists on the road, which means you need to understand exactly what the rules are. An Omaha criminal defense lawyer can assist you in understanding how City Ordinance 36-115 applies to your case and can help you to explore options for defending yourself and avoiding conviction under municipal or state law.
Omaha Has Its Own DUI Laws
The generally applicable drunk driving law that applies throughout the entire state of Nebraska is found within Nebraska Revised Statute section 60-6,197. If you are in a local municipality outside of Omaha, you will be prosecuted under the provisions of section 60-6,197 because most municipalities in Nebraska do not have their own specific local laws related to drunk driving.
In Omaha, however, the City Council and Mayor who pass municipal laws and regulations made the decision to pass a city ordinance applicable to driving while impaired. While it is unusual that Omaha has its own DUI regulations instead of just relying on the statewide laws, the fact is that the municipal ordinance in section 36-115 applies to anyone who is pulled over within the Omaha city limits who are driving while impaired.
The penalties for being charged under section 36-115 and under the Nebraska Revised Statute section 60-6,197 are generally very similar. However, the Omaha municipal law provides a broader definition of impaired driving. For example, because the Omaha municipal ordinance applies to private property, it may be possible for you to be charged with impaired driving if you are sitting in your vehicle in your driveway after having had too much to drink. This is not necessarily the case outside of the city of Omaha since section 60-6,197 does not criminalize all of the same behaviors as section 36-115 on the Omaha municipal code.
An experienced Omaha drunk driving attorney can provide advice and representation if you are charged with driving while impaired either under Omaha’s municipal law or under the laws applicable throughout the state of Nebraska. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.