Lincoln Underage DUI Lawyer

Lincoln Underage DUI Attorney

Nebraska does not take underage drinking lightly. In fact, they have set up extensive organized operations to catch and cut down on underage drinking, specifically before football games around high schools and universities in Lincoln and Fremont. Anyone who is arrested for a DUI under the legal drinking age of 21 should speak with a Lincoln underage DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the potential to minimize the repercussions of this very serious offense.

Nebraska exercises graduated driver laws, which makes it more likely that minor drivers who are operating a vehicle outside of these laws will get pulled over. Thus, if these drivers are drinking and driving within a timeframe that is outside of typical minor driver hours, even if they have a permit to drive during that time, they are more likely to get pulled over and then arrested for DUI.

Sopinski Law Office is a law firm in Nebraska focused on the criminal defense of DUIs. Our competent legal team is experienced in representing and has successfully represented many underage drinkers who have been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Lincoln, and we can help you, too.

What is Considered an Underage DUI in Lincoln?

In Lincoln, Nebraska, the legal amount of alcohol allowed for a driver of the legal drinking age to operate a vehicle is with a blood alcohol content (BAC) lower than 0.08%. This number drops to 0.02% BAC for drivers under 21. Nebraska exercises a “zero tolerance” law, which means drivers who are not old enough to be drinking in the first place should not be driving a car with any significant amount of alcohol in their system.

It is also a crime in Lincoln for anyone under 21 to possess, purchase, consume, or attempt to purchase alcohol. There are two exceptions to underage drinking: if it is for a religious ceremony or if the underage drinker is drinking in their or their parent’s permanent residence home.

Penalties for Lincoln Minors Caught Drinking

Nebraska penalizes underage drinking according to the age of the violator. If a person is 18 or older and is caught drinking, they are charged with a Class III misdemeanor for underage consumption and possession. They will face a $500 fine and up to three months in jail.

Violators who are 18 or younger are also charged with a Class III misdemeanor, but the judge may require that they attend an alcohol education class in addition to any penalties imposed by the judge. Underage drinking is punished through a minor’s privileges to drive; however, these charges are for consumption, not driving. They may incur additional penalties according to the number of times they’ve been convicted for the same crime, according to the offenses listed below.

  • A first offense – A license or permit may be revoked for 30 days.
  • A second offense – A license may be revoked for 90 days, and the violator may be sentenced to community service from anywhere between 20 to 40 hours.
  • A third or subsequent offense – A license or permit may be revoked for up to 12 months or 60 hours of community service may be sentenced, as well as a requirement to undergo an alcohol assessment performed by a licensed counselor.

There are other laws that regard underage drinking in Nebraska that can affect minors who are caught operating a vehicle with alcohol in their system. Some of these are described below.

  • If a minor is caught drinking who doesn’t have a driver’s license, they will not be able to get a license during the period in which their license should be revoked.
  • If a minor refuses to take a chemical test, they can face losing their license for 90 days. If a minor is driving and refuses to test, they will be automatically arrested with a Class V misdemeanor charge that carries a $100 fine.
  • If a minor driver is caught driving on a revoked license, they will be charged with a Class III misdemeanor for Driving Under Suspension (DUS). A conviction of a DUS carries a loss of license for up to one year, up to three months in jail, and a fine of up to $500. It is not uncommon for a judge to sentence these convictions for all three potential penalties.
  • If a minor driver is arrested for driving under the influence and has another passenger under the age of 16, the driver can be charged with an additional $1,000 fine and receive up to one year in jail if convicted.
  • Some minor charges are eligible to fall off of a driver’s record and be expunged from a criminal record even after 90 days or 120 days. This is a stark contrast to the five years that a non-minor DUI conviction will stay on a driver’s record.

Ignition Interlock Device

If a minor driver gets a DUI and they are at least 18 years old, they may be able to apply for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). If approved, they will be able to drive with this installed on their vehicle but at their own expense.

However, a certain responsibility comes with this privilege. If a driver is caught operating a vehicle without an IID or if the device is tampered with, they can be charged with a Class I misdemeanor. If they drive without an IID or tamper with one and have a BAC of 0.02% or higher, they will be charged with a Class IV felony.

Hiring a Lincoln Lawyer for Your Underage DUI Case

As you can see, there are many laws that can affect an underage drinking charge. This also means there are many opportunities for charges to be minimized or opportunities for charges to be dropped altogether. To ensure an underage DUI charge does not affect the future of your minor driver, speak to an experienced Lincoln underage DUI lawyer about your case.

If you have questions about underage drinking charges brought against you or someone you know in Lincoln, Nebraska, contact Sopinski Law Office. We will be happy to discuss your case and are well-equipped to represent you if necessary. Our lawyers are skilled in negotiation practices and can help you move forward, potentially without a serious mark on your record. The sooner you call, the quicker we can get started investigating your case and working towards putting this behind you.



Request A Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Trusted Counsel When You Need it Most