OMAHA, NEB. (KMTV) — In Nebraska, Driving Under the Influence is an enhanceable offense resulting in tougher penalties for consecutive DUI's.
"You have a standard DUI where someone tests a .15 or below, and In Nebraska we have an aggravated DUI where someone tests .15 or higher," said Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Criminal Defense Attorney. "It's important to realize that .15 is a magic line because the penalties for someone who tests below (that threshold) are different than someone who tests above a .15."
Penalties for standard DUI's increase for each consecutive DUI, in some cases up to 20 years in jail. The penalties are much tougher for for felony aggravated DUI's including up to fifty years in prison and having a driver's license suspended for 15 years.
"Statistically, one third of all the first time DUI offenders will repeat so they obviously did not learn their lesson from the first time," said Andrea Frazier, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "So it's important for the judicial system to hold them accountable."
Advocacy organizations say the law is just one part of preventing people from driving under the influence.
"The enforcement is just a part of the puzzle. The laws are part of the puzzle. So we really need to look at the price of alcohol," said Chris Wagner, Executive Director of Project Extra Mile. "So, increasing taxes on alcohol and sobriety check points and doing those more frequently."