Drinking and driving continues to be a big issue across the nation. In 2015, 29-percent of all motor vehicle fatalities were caused by an intoxicated driver. Some states have stricter laws on the books and Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the personal finance website WalletHub says Nebraska is one of them.
Gonzalez says, “Nebraska is actually the sixth strictest state on DUI’s for several reasons. When it comes to minimum jail time, Nebraska is one of the states that actually has minimum jail time. For the first conviction it is seven days and for the second conviction it bumps up to a thirty day minimum. DUI factors, old DUI’s are factored into your reports and records for fifteen years. That is one of the longest time spans nationally.”
Gonzalez says other laws in Nebraska make a DUI an automatic felony at the 4th offense and requires a 90 day license suspension for first offense. Nebraska also requires a mandatory interlock device on vehicles for first time offenders and it must remain on the vehicle for six months. The fine for the first and second offense is $500. The average car insurance premium hike after a DUI in Nebraska is nearly 60%.
There are a few areas Nebraska could improve. Gonzalez says, “I think it is the second conviction fine was a little bit higher in Nebraska that would prevent more people from becoming second time offenders. The one thing it does not have is mandatory alcohol assessment which is essentially a class one would have to take after they were convicted to hopefully not do the same thing in the future.”
Statistics show that 29% of all motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. in 2015 were alcohol related. Drunken driving roughly claims 10,000 lives each year and costs Americans more than $44 billion annually.