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What can happen if I refuse a breath test in Nebraska?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Drunk Driving, Dui |

Getting pulled over could be stressful. It could happen anytime and anywhere. However, certain circumstances could compel an officer to request a breath test to determine the driver’s intoxication. This procedure could be standard protocol if the officer has reason to believe the individual behind the wheel is driving under the influence (DUI).

Unfortunately, drivers in Nebraska cannot refuse to take this test. If they do so, they could face a Class V misdemeanor charge. Being able to drive a motor vehicle lawfully provides implied consent. It means their driving privileges come with the commitment to submit to breath tests given by an officer.

Nebraska law authorizes local law enforcement to arrest motorists who refuse breath tests or take the breath test leading to results beyond the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits.

What happens after the arrest?

If an officer arrests a driver, they must undergo a chemical or breath test to measure their BAC. The results would then determine what charges they could face. If their BAC show that the driver committed a DUI, they could face the accompanying penalties based on the situation. The court might enforce varying sanctions, depending on the case details.

However, the driver might still refuse to take the test, leading to a traffic infraction. If convicted, they could face penalties for their refusal, such as getting their license impounded. Although, these sanctions might vary, especially if the arrest involved other offenses that could escalate the punishment.

Maintaining road safety

Breath tests are essential tools for law enforcement to prevent DUIs. These offenses are significantly risky, endangering drivers, their passengers, other motorists and pedestrians on the road. Facing law enforcement officers might be scary, but it is another necessary step to maintaining road safety and minimizing preventable DUI accidents.