Criminal and civil charges.
Charges that can be levied after a Nebraska driving under the influence (DUI) accident include both criminal and civil actions from the same arrest, yielding two separate proceedings unique to each government agency filing the actions. The State Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically revoke a license when a DUI is involved, unless the driver can prove that it should not have been taken. An officer will order a driver to take a breath, blood or urine test and if they fail to take any of the tests, the arresting officer will take the license and give them a yellow temporary license. The officer gets to choose which test he wants, but an impaired driver is entitled to a confirmatory blood test at their own expense. A driver has 10 days from the time they get a temporary driver’s license to file a petition stating a wrongful accusation.
Driving under the influence is a very serious offense in the State of Nebraska and a driver can typically expect to pay high fines, serve jail time, receive a driver’s license suspension, and be required to complete an alcohol treatment program. Negligence may be easier to prove because the driver was drinking and driving recklessly, which are criminal charges in the State of Nebraska, and will directly impact any civil suits for personal injury and/or wrongful death of others involved in the car accident.
Nebraska DUI law.
It is unlawful for any person to operate, or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle: while under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug; when that person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or when that person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath. If a person operates a motor vehicle while in this condition they are guilty of a crime and upon a conviction can be punished as provided in sections 60-6,197.02 to 60-6,197.08.
Personal injury and wrongful death civil actions.
A personal injury and/or wrongful death case can ensue when a driver causes injury or death to other people because of driving while under the influence. Both types of claims can be filed in civil court by an accident victim, or the personal representative or surviving family member when a death is involved. Compensation for monetary damages may be awarded with the assistance of legal counsel. A wrongful death claim may be filed against the estate of a person whose wrongful act, neglect, or default caused death, if that individual has also passed away.
Damages that may be recovered include funeral expenses when a death results from the accident, related medical bills, loss of current and future wages, loss of companionship, and costs related to property damage. Nebraska does not allow family members to seek damages for their own pain and suffering.
Seek legal counsel.
A personal injury attorney specializing in DUI laws can assist with questions and filing legal documents for personal injuries or a wrongful death action after a car accident that involved a drunk driver.