Drunk driving is illegal everywhere in the United States, but Nebraska as well as all other states each have their own specific laws. The laws outside of the U.S. vary, but all are based on the alcohol content in a driver’s blood. Penalties upon conviction can depend on how far over the legal limit the driver was, and whether it was a first or a repeat offense.
Every state in the U.S. has the same legal alcohol limit, but some places in the world have stricter limits, and some have zero tolerance laws that make it illegal for people to drive with any with alcohol in their blood system at all. In the U.S., the United Kingdom and Switzerland the legal limit is .08 percent. For people under 21 in the U.S. the limit is .02 percent in many states, while some states have zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Though the legal drinking age varies by country, most countries have lower limits for underage drivers than for adults who are over the legal drinking age.
Penalties upon conviction vary. In most places, even a first offense carries stiff penalties that can include automatic driver’s license suspension, fines and possibly even jail time. A first offense is usually a misdemeanor, but repeat offenses or drunk driving that results in an accident in which people were injured can be a felony offense. Professional drivers are usually held to even stricter rules regarding drinking and driving. In most U.S. states and most other countries, the legal limit for commercial drivers is lower than it is for the rest of the adult population.
In Nebraska, penalties for a first drunk driving conviction can include jail time. After three convictions, a fourth will be a felony, which is punishable by up to five years jail time and driver’s license revocation for up to 15 years.