Refusing a breath test in Nebraska

If an officer stops a person for suspicion of driving while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs in Nebraska, he or she may think to him or herself, the officer cannot make the arrest if he or she does not have hard evidence. Typically, hard evidence comes in the form of a breath test reading. To try and avoid arrest, the person may refuse to take the breath test, but is doing so really such a good idea? Nebraska Legislature says no.

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,197, the state considers any individual who operates or immediately possesses a motor vehicle to have given his or her accord to surrender to a chemical test or a test that reads his or her breath, blood or urine. An officer may only lawfully request the test to determine the presence and concentration of drugs or alcohol in the driver’s system. Refusal to acquiesce to tests the officer proposes may result in additional criminal charges.

That said, the law does require officers to inform drivers that if they refuse to consent to a breath, blood, urine or chemical test will likely result in criminal charges. Though failure to provide such advisement will not affect the admissibility of a chemical test, it will negate the state’s ability to bring additional charges against the disobedient driver.

According to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, failure to succumb to a chemical test can result in the confiscation of the offender’s driver’s license. The state will issue a temporary license that will remain valid for 15 days. After the 15-day period, the state will revoke the license unless a Departmental hearing dismisses the charges.