When most people think of being arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI, they assume the charge refers to driving under the influence of alcohol. While driving under the influence of alcohol is certainly illegal in Omaha, you can also be charged and convicted of DUI for being under the influence of something other than alcohol, such as marijuana or other drugs.
In the State of Nebraska, Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,196 addresses driving under the influence and reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
(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;
As you can clearly see, the legislature intended the statute to cover situations where a motorist is operating under the influence of something other than alcohol. Prosecuting a case of driving under the influence of drugs, also referred to as DUID, is often more problematic for the prosecution; however, that does not mean you can’t be convicted.
DUI prosecutions where the motorist was under the influence of alcohol are easier to prosecute because Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,196 goes on to include the following:
(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.
Therefore, the prosecution does not have to worry about what constitutes “under the influence” because the statute makes it a crime to operate a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08 percent. If the motorist submitted to a chemical test and tested above the legal limit it is easier to use that evidence in a DUI prosecution than to convince a jury the defendant was “under the influence”. In an Omaha DUID prosecution, however, there is no statutory breath or blood level that automatically qualifies as “under the influence”. Therefore, the issue becomes whether or not the defendant’s use of marijuana (or other drugs) qualifies as “under the influence” for purposes of securing a conviction.
If you have been charged with an Omaha DUID, or driving under the influence of drugs, you face the same potential penalties as a driver charged with DUI. To ensure that your rights are protected and to explore defense options, consult with an experienced Nebraska DUI attorney. For a free case evaluation, contact Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180.