When applying for a Nebraska driver’s license, your signature provides implied consent to blow into a roadside breath test device when requested. If a law enforcement official has reasonable cause to believe you are driving while impaired, he or she may ask you to submit to a breath test. You may refuse, but it could result in serious consequences.
A law enforcement official must have grounds to pull your vehicle over, such as violating a traffic law. Broken taillights, swerving and speeding are examples for which you may find yourself stopped. The officer may then suspect impairment if you show signs such as a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, irritability or confusion.
You may need to answer some questions to demonstrate your cognition and also take part in a standard field sobriety test. Based on your performance, an officer may ask you to blow into a roadside breath test device. By refusing, law enforcement has the right to note your blood alcohol content level as over the legal limit of 0.08%.
Refusing to submit to a breath test for the first time is a misdemeanor and may result in a fine, jail time and a license suspension of up to one year. You may, however, apply to drive with an ignition interlock device. This will require you to blow into the device before your car can start.
A third breath test refusal, however, is a felony offense that may result in serious punishment. When a 30-year-old Nebraska resident refused to submit to a breath test, law enforcement officials learned it was his third offense. A judge sentenced him to four years of probation and a five-year license suspension, as reported by the Fremont Tribune. His sentence also required him to abstain from drinking alcohol and pay a $1,000 fine.