A Change in Nebraska DUI Law Could Be on the Way

December 18, 2015

Recently, we filled you in on Nebraska DUI laws and myths in Part I and Part II of our DUI Myths Debunked series. Now, a big change in Nebraska DUI law could be on the way thanks to the United States Supreme Court.

Warrants? We Don’t Need No Stinking Warrants.

In Nebraska today, if you refuse a blood, breath or urine test when pulled over by law enforcement, you could face criminal charges – even if police don’t have a warrant.

The law currently allows for what is called a warrantless search. Taking your blood, breath or urine and examining it for evidence is a search, just like searching your home would be. And, typically, searches require warrants. But Nebraska law allows the search to happen without a judge first finding that law enforcement has shown there is probable cause for the search and then signing a warrant to allow the search based on that finding.

(As a refresher – if you think you can’t be charged with a crime for refusing the test, think again. The law in Nebraska says that, by operating a motor vehicle, your consent is implied to determine if you’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse those tests you can be charged with a separate crime for refusing.)

Well, Maybe We Will…

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases dealing with warrantless chemical testing in DUI cases, which could significantly change DUI law in Nebraska and the other states that currently allow warrantless searches.

The defense attorneys who asked the Supreme Court to review the issue say warrantless blood, breath and urine tests violate a person’s constitutional rights. The petition with the Supreme Court presents some compelling arguments about why there are no exceptions that would make the constitutional violations legal.

The lawyers also note states disagree about the issue. The laws of 37 states don’t allow for such warrantless searches, but the laws of 13 states (Nebraska included) do.

Don’t Go It Alone

DUI law – like many areas of the law – is ever changing. Hightower Reff knows DUI law and keeps up with the changes. If you or a friend needs help, call us. A DUI can be devastating and you shouldn’t go it alone.

Call the office at 402-932-9550, or contact us online and make an appointment to come visit with us about your case during an initial consultation.  Don’t go it alone.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 

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