Automatic license suspensions for DUI in Nebraska cause a great deal of hardship. If you have been arrested for DUI in Nebraska and had your license administratively suspended, you probably know how difficult life is now that you can’t drive.
However, you can apply for an ignition interlock in Nebraska so that you have a chance to return to your daily routine.
The procedure for having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle is not easy to follow. Having an experienced DUI defense lawyer like Tom Petersen guide you step-by-step through the process can help you get back on the road.
A tough and aggressive DUI defense attorney like Tom Petersen knows the pressure you’re under. He won’t judge you or lecture you; he will defend your rights.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a small machine that connects to the ignition system of your car. The handheld part of the device is similar in size to a television remote control. A cord links the device to your ignition.
The driver blows into the handheld part of the device before turning the ignition. If the machine detects 0.02% of alcohol in the breath of the driver, then the machine interrupts the ignition system and prevents the driver from starting the car.
Additionally, the device requires the driver to take the test periodically while driving. This ensures that the driver remains sober throughout the entire trip.
Most devices have safety features that thwart attempts to tamper with the machine. Some devices use a small mounted camera that starts recording when the driver turns the machine on. Other devices can detect when the driver tries to start the car without using the ignition.
Some companies sell breath filters that claim you can trick the device. However, those devices do not work consistently.
What Happens If You Get Caught Tampering with the Ignition Interlock Device?
Tampering with an ignition device is never a good idea. The facility that installed your interlock device has a legal duty to report evidence of tampering to the probation department supervising your case.
If that happens, then the court must hold an evidentiary hearing within 14 days to determine if you tampered with the device. You could lose your limited driving privileges after that hearing. You could also face additional criminal charges.
Tampering with an ignition device is a misdemeanor. However, you could face felony charges if you tamper with the device and drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.02% or greater.
Similarly, driving a car without an ignition interlock in Nebraska is a misdemeanor that could become a felony if you drove with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02% or higher.
I Need to Get Back to Work. How Can I Get an Ignition Interlock Device in Nebraska So I Can Drive?
The first thing you need to do is obtain an ignition interlock permit in Nebraska. The arresting officer may have told you that your license is suspended because you refused or failed a chemical test.
Nebraska law gives you the chance to appeal the officer’s decision. You need to talk to a highly qualified DUI defense attorney before making the decision to appeal because there may be collateral consequences. However, the time to appeal is short, so you need to talk with someone as soon as possible.
The Nebraska DMV will give you an interlock permit after you file an application and qualify. You will qualify for an interlock permit if you have waited the required amount of time before applying and the DMV did not suspend or revoke your license for another reason.
First-time offenders do not have to wait before applying, but those with prior DUI convictions will have to wait a specific period of time before making that request.
The DMV will require you to install the ignition interlock before receiving your permit, and they will provide you with a list of who installs ignition interlock devices.
The DMV will send you a letter that you can take to a certified ignition interlock installer, and you may need a certified copy of a court order if a judge orders you to install the device.
Finally, please note that you’ll need to pay an installation fee and any other fees associated with getting your ignition interlock permit.
How Long Do You Have to Keep an Interlock Device?
People are happy to have an ignition interlock device, so they can get back to work and school. But living with such a device can be burdensome. Interlock devices can fail, give a false-positive result, or even be difficult to use.
The machine only works if there’s a sufficient amount of air, and providing a sufficient air sample can be difficult at times.
After they’ve had it for a while, our clients often ask us, When can I get my ignition interlock removed? You have to renew your ignition interlock permit every six months unless you can get your license back.
However, the court cannot order you to use the ignition interlock for longer than the maximum period of your license suspension. For example, if your license is suspended for a year, then you can get your ignition interlock removed when the revocation period ends.
Have More Questions About Your Ignition Interlock Device?
Contact Nebraska DUI attorney Tom Petersen and his team with Petersen Criminal Law by calling 402-383-8080. We are here 24 hours a day to take your call and answer any questions about your ignition interlock device or any other questions you may have about your DUI case.
Representation from Tom Petersen, one of Nebraska’s Top 50 DUI lawyers, gives you the best chance to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI charge.