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Be aware of mandatory assessment if you imbibe then drive

When you came to Nebraska to go to college, it probably didn't take long for you to notice that the Cornhusker state provides myriad opportunities for fun activities and adventurous campus life. From going to football games, concerts in the park (Bon Jovi anyone?) and touring the tallest building in Lincoln (the state capitol) to visiting local restaurants, historic markets and train stations with your friends, there's plenty to do when you're taking a break from your studies.

It's no secret that social life in a college town often includes drinking alcohol. Hopefully, if you plan to have a few beers or a glass of wine when you're out on the town, you'll research state DWI laws ahead of time to avoid potential legal trouble. Those convicted of drunk driving in this state may incur severe penalties that include substantial fines and/or revocation of driver's licenses.

Protect your rights and avoid ruining your college career

Laws pertaining to operation of motor vehicles and alcohol-related incidents vary by state. Keeping the following in mind while you're in Nebraska may help you protect your rights and preserve your good standing in your college career:

  • If you're convicted of DWI in this state, you're subject to a mandatory alcohol assessment. Any fees for this assessment come straight out of your own pocket. The agency that performs the assessment also recommends forms of treatment to the court.
  • Depending on whether it's your first or a subsequent offense, you stand to lose your license for a time period of anywhere from one year to 15 years upon conviction.
  • If you are convicted of DWI in Nebraska, an interlock ignition device will be installed in your vehicle to monitor your blood alcohol content level through breath tests whenever you drive. This device makes it impossible to start the engine of your car if the device detects alcohol on your breath.
  • Civil authorities often report DWI arrests to school administrators, which may negatively affect your enrollment.
  • You do not have to answer any questions beyond basic identification information pertaining to yourself or your vehicle without appropriate representation if an officer detains you under suspicion of DWI.

Most college students understand that the best means for avoiding possible DWI problems is to abstain from alcohol when planning to get behind the wheel. However, there have been people charged with this crime even when they've imbibed no alcohol at all, such as those who have used mouthwash, cough syrup or other products containing alcohol as an ingredient, which can produce false results on a Breathalyzer test.

For this and many other reasons, it's typically best to request legal assistance if you are pulled over in a traffic stop and an officer states that you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.

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