Do you know what to expect from a DWI conviction?

You may already be noticing changes in driving conditions as winter draws ever closer. The end of daylight saving time means you may be driving in the dark coming and going from work, and it won't be long before the roads turn slick with ice and snow. However, even in ideal conditions, you take great risks if you get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

Even a single drink may affect your ability to react to danger or control your vehicle. You may lose some control over your decision-making processes, or you may simply be too sleepy to drive after consuming alcohol. While alcohol affects everyone differently in differing amounts, the laws of Nebraska set specific standards for when police may arrest you under the suspicion of driving while impaired.

What's ahead for you?

If police arrest you for a first offense DWI with no prior convictions and no accident or injury, you may feel fortunate. Nevertheless, you still run the risk of spending time in jail, paying hundreds in fines and facing other consequences, such as:

  • The state will suspend your driver's license for up to six months.
  • You will have to pay for a professional assessment of your alcohol use and habits.
  • Based on the results of the assessment, the court will likely require you to attend alcohol education classes or substance abuse counseling at your own expense.
  • The installation of an ignition interlock system is mandatory for all DWI convictions in Nebraska, and the court may order you to pay for installation on every car you own.

In addition, you may have to deal with the embarrassment you feel around friends and family, and you may experience certain ramifications related to your job. For example, if you have use of a company car or your work requires you to drive, your employer may consider whether it is wise to keep you employed. Even if this is not the case, you will have to figure out how to get to and from your work and other obligations during the time when your license is under suspension.

These are just the factors you will have to consider for a first offense. If you have a previous conviction from as far back as 15 years, your potential penalties may be even more severe. With so much at stake, you would be wise to secure legal counsel as early as possible after your arrest. You do not have to fight these charges alone, and the skill and experience of an attorney may be of great benefit to you.

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